Thursday, February 25, 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Why I Read

For more Booking Through Thursday responses, click here.
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 don't feel as if this describes my reasons for reading whatsoever. I read because I enjoy learning about new people, places and things. I read because I want to be able, in some small way, to experience things so remote from my own life that I could never have knowledge of them first-hand.

I guess, though, if you view the desire for more knowledge or experiences different from your own to be an "insufficiency," because it technically is, then this quotation would describe me and all others who read.

Hmm... Two sides of the same coin... What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I'm inclined do disagree with the last part of the quotation and I agree with your reasons for reading! Here's mine:

Jenners said...

I did have to read the quote twice before I understood it. I don't agree with it .. I read for entertainment, to learn, to discover but not because I feel my life is insufficient in any way.

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