My ideal life is a quiet one. I like to read, to sit still in the same chair, with the lampshade at a certain angle, alone, or with Meagan nearby, and now and then, if I’m lucky, I’ll come across a lovely phrase or fine sentiment, look up from my book, and feel the harmony of some notion, the justice of it, and know that everything is there. That’s life to me, those privately discovered moments.
Reading is like thinking, like praying, like talking to a friend, like expressing your ideas, like listening to other people’s ideas, like listening to music, like looking at the view, like taking a walk on the beach.
Have you picked up your summer reading program yet? People are already returning completed programs for prizes to DQ, Good Food Store, and Del’s Place. You can read or listen to audiobooks to participate, so stop by your local branch, choose a good book (as always, we’re here to help you find the perfect summer read), and get crackin’!
Forget this rainy weather for a while with a sun-sational book from your neighborhood public library.
Citing the growing popularity of “slow” movements in our country, Maura Kelly at The Atlantic makes the case for a Slow Books movement that focuses on taking time to read good books, and by good books she means mostly literature. She explains:
Why the emphasis on literature? By playing with language, plot structure, and images, it challenges us cognitively even as it entertains. It invites us to see the world in a different way, demands that we interpret unusual descriptions, and pushes our memories to recall characters and plot details. […] Literature doesn’t just make us smarter, however; it makes us us, shaping our consciences and our identities. Strong narratives—from Moby-Dick to William Styron’s suicide memoir, Darkness Visible—help us develop empathy.
Despite my love for all things Internet and the quick consumption of information (it doesn’t get much quicker than Chirp Clock, which we highlighted a few days ago), this seems to me very sage advice. It’s also nothing new. Harold Bloom has been beating this drum for years. But it’s a useful reminder, because in the hustle and bustle of our technology-laden lives, there’s still nothing quite like a slow encounter with a good book.
Image via soyrosa
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