Serious Reading


In a recent article in The New York Review of BooksTim Parks discusses the difficulty of getting "serious reading" done in a world of continuous communication and information. He shares some personal reading experiences and his thoughts on the future of the novel. Here are a few of my favorite moments:

"No art form exists independently of the conditions in which it is enjoyed."

"Now, on the contrary, every moment of serious reading has to be fought for, planned for."

"Already by the late 1990s, translating on computer with frequent connections (back then through a dial-up modem) to check email, I realized that I was doing most of my reading on my two or three weekly train commutes to Milan, two hours there, two hours back."

"...if I read mainly on public transport because these are the only moments when I'm not at a keyboard, I cannot really decide where to break off. I might be right at the flowing immemorial female when a voice announces Piccadilly Circus, or Times Square. Then when I restart I'll have to figure out how much of a run-up I need, how far back I have to go, to tackle this waking instant again."

Thanks to Austin Kleon for sharing this article in his weekly newsletter!