“Every society has some group of people—somewhere between a minuscule amount and half the adults—that read a lot in their leisure time,” says Wendy Griswold, a sociologist at Northwestern University who studies reading. Griswold refers to this group as “the reading class,”– The Atlantic
In further news of technology really changing things, I sat down with my Kindle a few weeks ago to read Robert Coles’s The Call of Service – a school book. I made some progress and set it aside. A few days later, when the time came to write an assignment with the aid of the book, I went back to the Kindle and started reading again and wondered how and when the tone had shifted so dramatically. Suddenly, it had moved from people in the segregated south who were compelled, at their own peril, to act against segregation to… a man pondering whether he was still attracted to his flirtatious wife. I kept reading… for 30 minutes wondering when Coles was going to return to the core themes of the text. I might not have persevered as long as I did except that one of my classmates had posed a question in response to one of my papers about whether Coles gave enough attention to gender differences and women in his book. I thought maybe these passages about the attractive, flirtatious, non-compliant wife were what he was referring to.
And then, never reaching a return to the theme of service, I clicked out of the book to discover that I was somehow reading The Winds of War instead. I am not sure how that book got opened on the Kindle and the Coles book closed… but clearly I was reading the wrong book.
Once upon a time, such a mishap would not have been possible, but these are the modern times we live in and the strange form factor with which many of us do the bulk of our reading.
Clearly I’m back, writing again about my reading exploits, but in truth, I am busier than ever and don’t quite have the time to dedicate to the format I had been using in writing about reading. For now I will simply share some impressions and titles and see where it takes me.
Thoughts on reading for September:
I knew I would begin reading a whole lot more this morning, and I did make my way through some lovely books of poetry and a few school texts. But finding the time to comb through my thoughts and observations… not quite as easy. I will take this up, hopefully, in more depth in October.