Saturday, February 11, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
How can the average person become a more discerning reader?
One, move your lips when you read, or at least say the words aloud in your head. Writers care about the sound of their sentences or the lines of their poems, and the best way to appreciate a distinctive style is to slow down and listen to the voice on the page.
Two, always read with a pencil in your hand. Mark favorite passages. Scribble questions or comments in the margin. Argue with the author.
Three, resist habit and complacency. Don’t just pick up every James Patterson or Charlaine Harris novel that comes out. Try something new or old, or translated from a foreign language, or in a field that you know nothing about but that sounds interesting.
Echoes of Mortimer Adler and How To Read a Book.
I'm catching up with some reading, much of it coming to me through all the rss feeds I have pumping stuff into my Google Reader account. I just finished this piece by someone I've had the privilege to rub shoulders with, Michael Dirda, through our Sherlockian activities (we're both members of "The 44th Street Pondicherry Lodgers." Highly recommended.
One passage caught my eye, towards the end of the interview, that resonates with me. On the one hand it doesn't have anything to do with books and reading; on the other hand it has everything to do with the world of books and ideas. Here's the passage from Michael: "I’ve learned that all pleasure is fleeting, that friendship and family are typically undervalued, that envy is a pernicious temptation, and that there’s no feeling so wonderful as that of competence in your chosen work." Amen and thank you!
Friday, February 3, 2012
If you're not able to make it you can still watch it on UMConnect. Go to the link above to connect to the event. Hope to see you there!