Is Reading a Lost Art?

The Los Angeles Times book editor David L. Ulin explores the shifting tides of how we read and asks is reading a lost art?

“Such a state is increasingly elusive in our over-networked culture, in which every rumor and mundanity is blogged and tweeted. Today, it seems it is not contemplation we seek but an odd sort of distraction masquerading as being in the know. Why? Because of the illusion that illumination is based on speed, that it is more important to react than to think, that we live in a culture in which something is attached to every bit of time.”


“…We live in time; we understand ourselves in relation to it, but in our culture, time collapses into an ever-present now. How do we pause when we must know everything instantly? How do we ruminate when we are constantly expected to respond? How do we immerse in something (an idea, an emotion, a decision) when we are no longer willing to give ourselves the space to reflect?

This is where real reading comes in — because it demands that space, because by drawing us back from the present, it restores time to us in a fundamental way.”

“try to make a place for silence.”

What kind of space would you make for reading?


Thoughtful piece.

I always like the idea of making a space for reading… ideally, having a room for it…
a comfortable space filled with books and art, and space where you could allow yourself to slow down and slip out of daily responsibilities and concerns and immerse yourself in a good book.

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