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25 February 2010

Booking Through Thursday-Why I Read


Today's questioned was suggested by Janet:

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?

I do so love to read. I am truly an unapologetic bibliophile. I do not believe the extent of my love of reading rests solely on the "insufficiency" of my life nor do I feel it is a reflection of my "insufficiency" to my orientation in life. I read because I yearn for knowledge. I crave the beautiful prose and the places I can be drawn into that I would not otherwise have been able to travel, especially in my beloved historical fiction novels. I am drawn to books, as a sensory reader, I crave the feel of the pages, the smell of the books, the words o the crisp pages, for me the entire experience is pure bliss.

Anyone can play along each Thursday with Booking Through Thursday.

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21 comments:

Becky said...

I am with you. I get where the author of this quote is coming from, but I don't agree with everything he says.

Here is my post
http://pageturnersbooks.blogspot.com/2010/02/booking-through-thursday-why-i-read.html

Melody said...

Totally agree with you there!

Cathy Ikeda said...

I agree that the sensation of holding a book in your hands is much more comforting than reading it on a hand-held electronic device that is cold and unscented.

Pam said...

I agree! I think many people will be turned off by the quote, whether it's the correct wording the author meant to use or just bad choice in picking. It seems like a non reader sort of thing to say. My husband (how is a magazine and TV person) says I read to escape. Escape what? :O) Any who, I agree.

Amy said...

I agree. Reading is an escape for me but not for the reason Bikerts states.

Barbara H. said...

You said what I was trying to say, but you said it so much more eloquently!

Lori said...

Why can't people say what they mean? What the hell kind of quote was that? I agree with you.

Here's Mine

Janet said...

Well said.

The quote made me mad at first, but the longer I think about it, the more I'm willing to acknowledge a sense of insufficiency is part of why I read. It doesn't mean I don't like my life, though.

fredamans said...

I'm with you!

http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/02/booking-through-why-you-read.html

Chanelle said...

Janet, I agree with you! It took some thinking for me to realize I agreed with the statement. This has been a fun question!

http://convincingchanelle.blogspot.com/2010/02/i-enjoy-blog-called-booking-through.html

♥ Katinka said...

Stopping by from SITS and wishing you a great Thursday!!! :)

Amused said...

Great points! I love that books take me places too and if that means my life is insufficient, I would have never called it that. I guess Sven and I differ on the definition of that term!

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

This man is trying far too hard to be profound.



Here is mine

Mash1195 said...

Totally agree...and only a book lover can understand what a book, book store, etc awakens all of our senses.
CMash

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

I had difficulty understanding the quote since it seemed taken out of context. I read Birket's article in order to figure it out. Reading is truly a sensory, active experience versus the passive act of electronics.

My response is up now.

http://www.mytwoblessings.com/2010/02/booking-through-thursday-why-you-read.html

Pam said...

Completely agree about the feeling of the entire experience. While the geek side of me thinks the Kindle is a very cool device, I just can't let myself be torn away from the actual feel, small, sound of pages turning of an actual book.

Also, I echo what someone else said about the "insufficient" portion of the quote. When I first read it, I thought it meant you read because you had a crappy life but now I can see it as maybe trying to fulfill something we love whether be our imagination, travel, yearn for knowledge, etc. Not necessarily something that's insufficient but a craving of sorts.

everybookandcranny said...

I agree with your assessment of the reading experience. I take it you're not a kindle owner either! (ha ha) I also love the look and feel of a book.

Here's my response to this question if you want to check it out:

Every Book and Cranny

everybookandcranny said...

I agree with your assessment of the reading experience. I take it you're not a kindle owner either! (ha ha) I also love the look and feel of a book.

Here's my response to this question if you want to check it out:

Every Book and Cranny

Barbara said...

my answer to a thougthful and confusing question.

http://blog.readinggroupchoices.com/content/blog/barbara/10/february/btt-225-reading-booksinsufficient-life

Vicki said...

Great answer! I too love the feel and smell of books. I love being able to visit places I'd otherwise never be able to experience.

Jennifer G. said...

Great response!