A faithful pursuit of an abstract essence
Kevin Evers on the lost art of reading @ The Rumpus.
I am, like you, a rabid reader of good books.
There are times, though, when I am not so feral. Reading is mostly a bust. Books fail. They fail to pinch my nerve.
Reading requires conviction. I try to find a spark that sets my brain ablaze. I fail, mostly.
A few weeks ago my energy had waned. I needed a shot in the arm, a book that would affirm my effort and push me forth. Good books lead to a good life. That is what I needed to hear, again. I yearned to feel the swell, again.
I turned to David Ulin, no stranger to the slog. The title of his new book, The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, provoked me. By reading it I hoped to regain my mojo. Ulin, a book critic by trade, is like me a lover of literature, but the advent of digital culture, he says, has affected all of us in a particular way: Close reading has become difficult.
Ulin’s teenaged son Noah thinks books are dead. He is reading The Great Gatsby and isn’t jazzed about it. Ulin, understandably, is concerned for both himself and his kin. He laments the loss of silence in our lives. I understand. There are days when I dream of a chair in an otherwise empty room. Some of the best moments of my life have been spent alone. read more