Sunday, July 27, 2008

Morris Freedman on reading

Morris Freedman fesses up:

For several years now I've been reading fewer books, from start to finish, that is. Not that my reading has diminished. If anything, I'm reading more now, more words certainly, every day, every week, daily and Sunday newspapers, weeklies, fortnightlies, monthlies, book reviews, quarterlies, portions of books, encyclopedia articles, professional publications, computer manuals and magazines, student papers. I used to spend much of my time reading books in their entirety, for pleasure, study, and work: fiction, plays, poetry, essays, criticism, biography, scholarship, reportage, reference sources. . . .

I am confident that I cover a wider, more diverse, and even a more nourishing intellectual landscape at this point in my life by grazing widely, occasionally pausing to linger over an appetizing patch, rather than feeding narrowly and deeply all the time.
If Freedman is following current conversation about reading, he might say, "Hey, I covered that in 2002." He did, even if his essay is more about print than pixels:

Why I Don't Read Books Much Anymore (Virginia Quarterly Review)

Related post
"Is Google making us stupid?"

comments: 1

Geo-B said...

Julia Keller of the chicago Tribune has a column today (Sunday) about not finishing a book (,0,260375.story). As an English teacher, I tend to finish every book I start, even if I find it boring, since I read so quickly, and sometimes, rarely, a boring book has a great finish. The one book which I remember not finishing in the past decade is one many people I know raved about, but which my best friend also couldn't finish: Tuesdays with Morrie. It seemed pretty shallow and an insult to Morrie. Otherwise, I would like to know the the people I'm talking to actually have the depth that sees the book to the end.