I’ve seen this quotation in several places lately. It’s 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?
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Why You Read
Today's Booking Through Thursday asks:
Well that's a statement! A bit accusatory towards readers if I do say so myself! So let me see if I understand this statement correctly: if I am reading, it's because something is lacking or insufficient in my life because the modern world offers so many other, and he is assuming, better pleasures? Uh, I think not!
I read because it relaxes me. I read because it takes me to other worlds, other lands, other people, other experiences, other histories, that I could never know without books. Yes movies are often made of them, but we all know that movies are never as good as the books (so there's strike one against Sven and his modern age)! I read because as a child it was a way to be constantly learning and going new places. I read as an adult because I am in front of a computer all day and when I come home I don't want to be. Does it need to be more complicated then that, Sven? I read because I love it, pure and simple.
Why do you read?