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?
Honestly? I’m not sure I understand everything in the quote above. I had to look up volitional and posit 🙂
“reading is at once a movement and a comment of sorts about the place one has left“. I understand this as reacting to the book from where you are at that moment in your life. Your experiences, your surroundings affects what you take from a book or how you relate to it. So in that sense yes, I agree with it.
“To open a book voluntarily is at some level to remark the insufficiency either of one’s life or one’s orientation toward it.” I don’t agree with this. Just because I want to read, say YA, does not mean I miss that stage in my life. My orientation towards YA could be because of completely different reasons. But then again, it could be insufficiency in a total different way. I might feel like reading books set in colder regions just because I live in a hot place.
We humans need constant change, we like to know and experience things that are different than our own. At least that is my basis for reading other than entertainment of course.