take as long as it takes and be its own end. Slow reading feels to me like a more generous, collegiate form of reading rather as listening is a more generous act than speaking, and more difficult. In 1910, a 24-year-old Cherry-Garrard joined a British expedition to the South Pole. (When my grandpa pushed me to catch a trout at a fish farm, I threw the rod into the pond.) I'd rather read Tove Jansson's. Poets and lyrically minded prose writers see the written word rather as Quaker worship sees the spoken word: they think it more powerful if it emerges out of and is separated by silence.
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Most below-the-line comment focuses on whether the commenter agrees with the writer. Set in the Old West and written in an impenetrable style that combines Faulkner and the King James Bible, Blood Meridian is a big, forbidding book that earns the reader bragging rights but provides scant pleasure. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. The Leavers, a novel by Lisa Ko; Ann Patchett loved it, so Im pretty sure I will too. When its a beautiful day, I read in the park. There is too much speaking and reacting, and not enough listening and reflecting. On the last page, I wrote that books remain one of the few defenses we have against narrowness, domination, and mind control. Shirer Several people described The Ambassadors by Henry James in such a way as to make me impatient to read it, but between those descriptions and my experience of the book lay a chasm of such yawningness that it will never be crossed. The Catcher in the Rye is such a canonical novel. It never seemed to me that Tolkien cared about his story as much as he cared about rendering, in minute detail, the world he built. The Kindle has not killed off the printed book any more than the car killed off the bicycle. One of the little miracles of silent reading is that we can do it so quickly and yet also subvocalise, semi-hearing the words in our heads.
We've been told all our lives that we can only call ourselves well-read once we've read the Great Books. Claire Messud, 'The Burning Girl'. In around a hundred pages, it tells the story of Hanta, who has found wisdom in his job, compressing paper and books in a totalitarian state. It's not too long, and it's not effortful. Reading is constantly promoted as a social good and source of personal fulfilment. And thats just a part of this story. Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves.