Three little words. Yet at the same time three very big words. The moment I discovered them they become my motto. They first appeared in print over 1,800 years ago, in the opening pages of the novel Metamorphoses by Roman philosopher Lucius Apuleius. Nearly two millennia later they still ring true.
So what do they mean? The exact meaning is up for debate, as everyone reads into them in a different way. The Latin dictionary defines each word as such:
Lector = m reader (esp. a slave who read aloud to his master)
Intende = adv. pay attention, intently, attentively, earnestly
Laetaberis = adj. happiness, cheerful, gladly, joyful, be happy
So the literal translation is: “reader, pay attention: be happy”.
In today’s world we’re bombarded with requests for our time, from work or school, sports and hobbies, our friends, the responsibility of family, and an increasing number of social media and gaming platforms to juggle. It seems everyone is fighting for just five minutes, even five seconds, of our time – not to mention the hours needed to consume an entire book.
A Call to Readers, A Promise of an Author
To me the first part of this phrase asks you – the reader – to pause, to give up some of your precious time. It asks you to focus on the story you’re about to read, because if you do you’ll find delight and joy. It’s a call to let yourself forget about the world around you and instead be swept up in the world that’s about to unfold on the pages before you – be it real or imagined – and it’ll be a story that will leave you satisfied.
But it’s not just a request for a reader to ‘pay attention’ to a story, its also the promise every author should strive to deliver to their readers. As a storyteller its my job to entertain you, to weave a tale that grips your imagination in a way that you forget about the latest trends, memes, or viral videos because what you’re reading brings you more happiness. There’s no question that its a daunting task, but its one I’m more than willing to face every time I’m met with a blank page. Because the happiness you seek in my stories is the exact same happiness I experience when writing them. Your joy is my joy. I wouldn’t tell the stories I do if they didn’t bring me happiness, a happiness I wish to share with you.
So this is my promise to you, dear reader. I promise to create stories that strive to make us both happy. And if it isn’t happy (because let’s face it, not all stories are) I will do my best to at least make it satisfying. Because in the end, it’s the happiness of reading a good story that binds us. That is storytelling at its core and it’s a journey I want to share with you.
All the best,