Saturday, September 18, 2004

on reading

The literate and always interesting Chan at the Bookish Gardener has a book blog, too -- Just a Reader, where she makes notes on her current reading. I look forward to checking it out.

Several months ago, somebody wrote an essay in the NY Times Sunday Book Review that merely being a reader was not enough, that there were too many people who were not critical enough in their reading, inferring a culture that praised reading more than in being engaged, skeptical readers. The author may have even put down the great books promotions by Oprah (it's been a while since I read the essay).

There was probably a good point in the essay, but it was overwhelmed by a certain snarkiness or condescension -- how can you enjoy a book if you are not critically aware, you great unwashed masses?

Not being a critic, and certainly being a major dilettante, flitting around books and subjects like the bees in my garden hovering above the flowers, I confess to a lifetime of being curious and bored. One feeds the other, and reading has always been a major vehicle for me to help with my restlessness and provide me with new worlds to explore.

Gardening helps, too.

Thanks to all good folk who write their thoughts down, who have reactions and share them, who are patient to teach us and encourage us.


Anonymous said...

And thanks to good folks who share the tales of their travels so vividly that it's better than any audiovisual travelogue. Italy has always been on the short list of my wanna-go destinations, mostly because I have always loved how it's inspired writers to write about it. Until now, Barbara Grizzuti Harrison's Italian Days has been my prime motivator. Now, your Italy posts.

Thank you for your generous words about my other endeavor. Notwithstanding that dyspeptic essay from the NYT Book Review over the summer, we all know that reading rocks, and so do readers.


Chan S.
Bookish Gardener

Girl Gone Gardening said...

Its hard for me to find time to read any more, I am always so busy with school, a full time job, keeping house and plans for starting a small on the side busness to make things meet (Not to mention my garden and website!) However it is something I enjoy very much, especially travel writting which takes you places :D.

Don said...

Yes, to reading.

I came to appreciate essay writing, which includes travel and gardening, late in my reading life. From a young age, I found history and fiction to be my mental ticket to other places.