Booking Through Thursday asks: 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?
This doesn’t describe me at all. I don’t read because my life is insufficient in any way. I read for many different reasons, none of which have to do with being unhappy with my life that is so lacking in stimulation and so boring that I need a place to escape to.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to fall into a good book and escape into another world. That’s part of why I read, and my love of fantasy in particular, but I don’t do it because everything around me is so bad that I can’t take it. I also don’t think that reading is a vote in anyway to show that I’m trying to escape — OK, maybe on the metro but that’s another post.
I read because it’s entertaining. It’s educational. It’s enlightening. It’s emotional.
I read because it’s fun. Have you watched any TV lately? It’s all reality crap I can’t stand and refuse to watch so I pick up a book instead. So, maybe I am casting a vote with my reading — against bad TV.
I like to learn new things and I like to discover new interests. I like when a story or a character tugs at my heart and leaves me wondering even after I finish the book.
For some reason, this question annoyed me this morning and I’m not going to go on ranting about it, although I could. I’m just going to say, it’s not a good description of my reading habit and leave it at that.