Book of the Year

Definitely one every person should read. A random find I thank the stars for.

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Reading about Reading

Reading on the beach, St Leonards on Sea, England

in front of a screenIt was glorious weather for April last weekend when I was down on the south coast in East Sussex. I spent a couple of hours on the beach reading about reading, and finding myself feeling a little uncomfortable with the realisation that my own ability to ‘go deep’ into a book has been compromised in the way Birkerts describes. The acceleration to my own fractured attention, even when I am offline, correlates to the moment I invited an iPhone into my life last summer.  The ambivalence I feel toward this device that is now barely ever out of my sight, hearing, or hand often gives me a headache, often elicits a groan of self-reproval. My preferred writing technology is the typewriter, & my preferrence is to read on paper. I struggle now to achieve this as if it were a challenge and not second nature, and I hate to admit it. But I do see how this little device has changed me, and I don’t want this modification, as Birkerts says in his book.

Sven Birkerts interview

Thanks to Richard Polt for bringing Sven Birkerts to my attention via The Gutenberg Elegies, another deeply fascinating and insightful book.