Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The lost art of reading

With others reading less and engaging more with social media, my early summer experience has been just the opposite. During my non-work hours, I’m trying to limit my time with technology and pursue old-fashioned activities like writing and reading. In fact, my current book of choice is close to 1,000 pages, with an additional 96 pages of endnotes. I've blogged a bit about the community read taking place that I've decided to participate in, over at my personal blog devoted to my writing/publishing interests.

Summer has more often than not been a time when I’ve tried to engage with books. From my youth, when the season was about reading books and getting my summer reading card punched at my local library in Lisbon Falls, to a couple of summers of unemployment/under-employment where I made use of my time to pour through some weighty works (Lewis Mumford’s Culture of Cities, John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion to name just two). Even full-time work hasn’t made reading impossible, as I read David James Duncan’s sprawling novel, The Brothers K, last July, over a long weekend at Shagg Pond, all 741 pages of it.

I recall former governor Angus King, a few years ago promoting turning off the television for a week, saying that “readers are leaders.” Sadly, I’ve found far too many supposed leaders lacking on the reading front.

Technology is great, and has its place, but there is still a place in my opinion, for communication that exceeds 140 characters.

1 comment:

mainehrcafe said...

Having heard Govenor King several times now on his leadership keynote series, I do concur with his quote that "reading is leading." The television, while present in my study, is nearly always off for reading, writing and thinking.