I love the science of reading, it moves the mind and enriches context. Reading provides access to the brain along pre-formed channels that feed receptor-rich regions mixing concrete action (eyeballs decoding patterns) with the mystery of imagination. We see and feel Narnia long before it was embodied on film. How do we do that?
Setting aside the analog v. digital argument of print and Kindle, for the limited purposes of this discussion, reading is done on purpose, it is the pursuit of a specific book from start to end (if you can). The act of reading is solitary, even on a crowded bus or in bed with a friend. There is a feedback loop when you are lost in a book. The thought is real, the response is real, the curiosity and regret and engagement you feel have been produced by your own brain as stimulated by the decoded patterns mastered for you by another.
If you aren’t reading, start. If you are reading, read more. Genre readers… break out, shake it up, take books at random from the “new” shelf or go back to the classics and read the ones that have the word “blue” in the title. Whatever works to get you in the habit of providing nourishment for your brain. You can fall away from the habit of reading and, luckily, fall right back into it.
It’s fundamental to our intellectual structure that we communicate, and to that end we employ visual art and language art together for maximum efficiency. The modern video is chockfull of meaning but flashes by so fast we don’t have time to incorporate it fully. It’s a zing thing. We like zingy but it does not sustain us. Pop video, including most web content, is empty calories as far as supporting your brain. Don’t give up other pursuits, just trim them back, a half-hour here, a quarter hour there and next thing you know, you have an hour to read.
Sprint v. marathon reader? Both good, both challenging, find the ratio that suits you. Books open the door to an orchestrated presentation; there is intent behind the writer’s labor. Snippets and blips of unconnected hi-speed web action simply can’t reach deep enough to strike the chords of thought when reader meets writer tête-à-tête for a sustained narrative.
It isn’t just cranial space we’re talking about here, it is the investment of analog time to read a book; words aren’t speed-loaded but rather collect one after another and we must follow along or become lost. If a book can take you and hold you, that is the power of entrancement: you are at the doorway to another world. You step behind the eyes of the writer and see what they want you to see, yet you are still outside the writer and may see what they don’t want you to see.
It is less important “what” you read than it is “that” you read… reading deepens over time, there are writers out there that can talk to you if you listen.
Go read something rich and interesting that you wouldn’t have read before you read this, it will go to show how reading changes behavior.
#readmore #KathleenK #stonerliteracy #sexualthoughtfulness