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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Why You Read

A weekly meme that asks bloggers to post their opinions on specific topics.
(hosted on Wordpress)

This week's topic: Why You Read
From Sven Birkerts' "The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age": "To read, when one does so of one’s own free will, is to make a volitional statement, to cast a vote; it is to posit an elsewhere and set off toward it. And like any traveling, reading is at once a movement and a comment of sorts about the place one has left. To open a book voluntarily is at some level to remark the insufficiency either of one’s life or one’s orientation toward it."
To what extent does this describe you?

I'd say this is perfectly true in my case. I read because books offer things that are hard to find in day-to-day life: massive coincidences, magic, mysteries, and the agency characters have in going on adventures. I've always loved Chinese wuxia stories because they allowed for the romance (I'm using its original meaning here) of swordfights and pseudo-magical powers and brotherhoods and freedom. On the same note, books allow you to travel back and forth in time - you can go back in time to escape the mechanized, clock-mediated society of today, or go forward in time to see either how well we've done, or how horribly wrong we could go. I am a rather introverted person well, so I suppose that makes the remark on orientation towards life true as well. I like being stuck in my own imagination, or someone else's, in the case of a (good) book.
Plus, I personally don't think "insufficiency" is a negative descriptor, because the written language is usually rather different from the spoken - I doubt everyone talks like a third-person omniscient narrator, or a second-person POV for that matter. Just as a great deal of ideas and expressions can only be found in books, a great deal can likewise only be expressed in sounds. Thus, the non-book world "left behind" is naturally "insufficient" (here meaning "incomplete") to me, a reader who knows and appreciates the realm of written ideas.

I've created a collective awards post to keep track of who gave me which award. I'll only be making new posts for awards I haven't been given before, but I'll keep adding names to the list if you re-award me =) Thank you!

Also, now that I'm past 100 followers, I'm thinking of hosting another giveaway (after my current one is over). Details are still in the workings, but I might get another poll up to see what you guys would like =)

If you haven't already, take a look at my 50 Followers Giveaway where you can win either a custom layout design from me, or a $5 gift card to either Amazon.COM or Amazon.CA! Since I've reached 100 followers, there will be TWO winners! Contest closes February 28th at midnight!
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Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

You were a lot more charitable than I was.

Here is mine

ninefly said...

@ Brooke
LOL you're right, you are rather harsh, and I understand where you're coming from
as with all questions of a philosophical (if even) sort though, I prefer to see what he's trying to say as opinionated questioning rather than an accusation...well that and he might be referring to his own self and generalizing to the world, as is a common psychological fallacy among human beings lol