BTT ~ Reading, Fundamentally

May 29, 2008 at 8:08 pm | Posted in LIfe, Reading | 7 Comments
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This short week has me all off kilter. Sorry for posting this so late putting up my post for Booking Through Thursday. A special thanks to Devourer or Books, whose excellent post on this week’s question reminded of what day it is.

BTT LogoWhat is reading, anyway? Novels, comics, graphic novels, manga, e-books, audiobooks — which of these is reading these days? Are they all reading? Only some of them? What are your personal qualifications for something to be “reading” — why? If something isn’t reading, why not? Does it matter? Does it impact your desire to sample a source if you find out a premise you liked the sound of is in a format you don’t consider to be reading? Share your personal definition of reading, and how you came to have that stance.

In the younger, idealistic days of my early to mid-20s, I prided myself for having “taste” in books. I would look down at anyone reading a book written by a living author. There were enough proven novels written in the past for me to even bother with something new or within my parent’s or grandparent’s lifetime. Today I am much more confident in myself and in my reading*. I sometimes read for education, edification or simple entertainment. Each way, I’m exercising the most precious gift my parents gave me after my birth: a love for learning.

I encourage everyone to read what they want to because it’s what they want to read. Sometimes you may be compelled to read something, but look at that as a challenge. The more you read, the more doors the reading life will open for you.

* I must confess that I still take much pride in having read Ulysses, but I no longer judge those who haven’t. 😉



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  1. Bravo, well said! I still get some reading snobbery from time to time as well, but then I think about where reading can start and where reading can lead to.

    I saw one answer that said something like it was only reading if it was for enjoyment/not to learn something, otherwise it was ‘studying’. But,, aren’t you studying by reading? And are you not learning anything from your ‘fun’ reading? Because that would be a sad reading life for me. Like you, I read from a love of learning. I think that is part of the reason we both like historical fiction, it is a fun, easy way to access the past and learn more about other times/cultures.

  2. Interesting reflections. I reflected on definitions to try and tackle the topic

  3. You should be proud at having read Ulysses! I admit that I haven’t and can’t say I want to, but there are other classics that I wouldn’t mind sinking my teeth into. Figuratively speaking. I have a couple of poor books that my dog actually did sink his teeth into and it isn’t pretty.

    I read for a variety of reasons, but generally always for pleasure. I take pleasure in learning and expanding my horizons as well as in being entertained. It sounds like you do too.

  4. What made reading Ulysses so special to me was having a wonderful professor teach it. I can’t say that I would have been nearly as successful with it otherwise.

    I’m with you. Reading is always a pleasure, no matter why I pick a book up.

  5. You absolutely right. The more you read the more doors will open for you.

  6. I like how you say people should read what they want. I try to be a well-rounded reader…no I haven’t read Ulysses (hangs head in shame), but as a Lit major I have read plenty of classics… but sometimes I just need the Dean Koontz to revive my brain haha so I feel there is a perfect balance between classics and easy entertainment somewhere!! 🙂

  7. Crazy, I am right there with you. There are times when I just need to read for pure, mindless pleasure. I save the Janet Evanovich and chick flick stuff for those times. Don’t worry about Ulysses. There’s still time. 🙂

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