“A Room Without Books Is Like A Body Without A Soul”

December 7, 2008

Erin Manning, subbing for Rod Dreher, ponders the future of the publishing world–and, more importantly, reading itself:

“I don’t know whether I think technology is re-shaping our minds and making the sort of leisure and concentration necessary for reading harder and harder to achieve. But I do think that the way many of us live isn’t all that conducive to curling up with a really good book–and that’s one problem that can’t be solved by technology.”

Even I experience those horrible moments from time to time when I sit down with a book, start reading, and can’t get the thought, What else could I be doing? out of my mind.  It’s almost as if the leisurely pace of reading–and let’s face it, even the most rollicking thriller is read at a comparatively leisurely pace, pausing whenever you feel like, glancing again at that bit of dialogue, etc.–makes us suspicious of it at times.  Which I think points toward an unpleasant side-effect of the pace of most of our lives.  Pausing is good; and to read, you need to pause.

For a while now, I’ve thought this website, for all its exceptionally basic simplicity, is kind of cool.  And I think it’s evidence for why the publishing industry will never die out altogether, even if the only customers are Kentuckians in rebellion against the 21st century.

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