This is again a translation, and I am trying to convey a meaning without making it sound a translation. The sentence is:
This book is the mirror in which I can see my wretchedness.
Now in the original language the verb used has many connotations: sitting opposite/having the guts to do it/seeing something that inflicts pain on you. I am looking for a verb which can express willingly seeing something painful. There is no element of surprise there, but rather of intent and of courage to look in that mirror and see.
For example, I am thinking that behold is not really the word here, because it is more often used in the sense of contemplate, and in this context it would sound too positive.