Friday, March 6, 2009

In Defense of Readers

Here is an interesting article by Mandy Brown in A List Apart, an online magazine for people who make websites.

My favourite passages :

"What each of these readers has in common is an ability to create solitude under circumstances that would seem to prohibit it. Reading is a necessarily solitary experience—like dying, everyone reads alone—but over the centuries readers have learned how to cultivate that solitude, how to grow it in the least hospitable environments."

"Think of your first encounter with a book. You look at the cover to get a sense of it, then perhaps flip to the back or the flaps to skim the publisher’s copy. Opening the book, you might glance at the title page, or quickly run your eyes over the table of contents. Maybe you peek into the back to check the page count, or casually assess the weight of the book in your hand. If it’s a hardcover, you might take the dust jacket off, lest it get in the way." (Haha .... exactly what I always do.)

"Once a reader has commanded the aura of solitude around them, they become nearly impenetrable. A reader who is thoroughly engrossed in reading may not hear you if you call her name. Call her name again, however, and she will look up, annoyed. The key is not to halt all activity around a reader, but to give her her space. " (Yes, leave me alone.)

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