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I read to examine my life.
Zain likens the book to a fence that surrounds a person, shading him and protecting him from dust and detritus. Going back to his early childhood, he recalls his love for building things and then often breaking them down. This act is echoed still in his character: He sees this when a reader breaks up the organization of his shelves by pulling out books to read. Despite breaking down his own organizational structure to get the books, Zain finds he builds up himself a little more when he reads.
His relationship with books and libraries is one of passion and rebellion, as he deliberately overlooks his textbooks to read outside of the curriculum, taking reading freely as an intermission when he can turn his face away from the world, even a little, to rid himself of the monotony of work, and give himself a break that will motivate him to finish the original assignment.