Thursday, July 26, 2007

Reading vs Thinking

I entirely agree with this Guardian blog which asks people to take time to not read this summer and instead devote it to thinking about some good book that you have already read.

Whenever I see one of those articles bemoaning the shallowness of modern culture as reflected in people's reading habits, I think that it is not the lack of reading but rather lack of thinking which is the problem. It is so obviously wrong to confuse the two together. In fact for many people the act of reading acts as a substitute for thinking! What we should really promote is the kind of reading which can potentially enrich one's inner life, expose one to new and interesting ideas and can help bring language and thought close together.

4 comments:

Madhuri said...

I think good reading is always thought-provoking reading. They are not two seperate things. Good books leave with you a number of alternate thoughts/ideas, unless you are reading in succession just to tick off some books on the list.

Alok said...

but even serious readers get into that tick-off mode once in a while, just out of exhaustion perhaps. also there are some serious word-addicts around, who just can't live without reading or writing anything, even when it is all crap. it was in this context that i linked to article. once in a while we should take a break to digest too... otherwise it is just another shallow and useless activity, with lots of health-risks to boot!!

there are just too many crap books all around. I sometimes worry about all the trees which were felled to create paper for those.

jyothsnay said...

Alok
Reading for me, with moderate levels of writing tendency, is a journey that my feet embark upon,the first line of the first chapter allows to me breathe in a whiff of those exotic strings of breeze poised to sway across over the land so unknown to me!it's a journey filled with sheer excitement and I expect a lot from the writer at the first set of milestones, which soon would become more like a conversation where most times I slip back to kiss the soft cheeks of the couch, to hear what the author is telling...so at this point, it initiates an active dialogue between both of us,punctuated aptly by the crisp lounging of pages...
most authors, Proust, Thomas Bernhard, Faulkner,etc etc challenge my faculties, which lurch in slumber, at times, which means am failing to catch up with the wavelength..n have no qualms about going back to retrace my steps
when a book challenges me, I tend to see a devilish yet delirious nag at the back of my mind....n have to go back!
I also read to learn how to write n how to arrange strings of words in a logical format! just to sum up, EADING LUBRICATES N STIMULATES THE THOUGHTS I HAVE BEEN LIVING WITH n nothing comes closes to this life-enriching experience..

Madhuri said...

I see what you mean by word-addicts.
Yes, once in a while we fall into the trap of getting into successive reading just to clear a list - but I suppose thats where blogging or reviewing on Librarything helps.