Reading is re-reading

As long as we keep rereading we never have the ultimate version of a book. Whether we go back again and again to a classic (and the ability to hold up to rereading is how a book becomes a classic) or pick up an old favorite to see how it has fared or dig deep into the treasures of our youth, rereading is an experiment that is bound to change us, and to change our impressions of the books we read. Rereading can certainly surprise, it can instruct, and it can make us feel safe.

Maybe it is not indulgent to reread a book, but a way to learn; and what is any sort of reading but a way to learn, whether it is something new about the world or just something new about ourselves?

via The Millions.

Tablets are responsible for the rebirth of reading

A presentation by Andrew Rashbass, CEO of The Economist Group, calls the old publishing models of web and print “irredeemably broken,” with publishers requiring “urgent re-examination of everything that constitutes a media business.”

The concept of Lean Back 2.0 is relatively simple — the use of tablets and e-readers is growing at the expense of print and web use, with The Economist‘s iPad readers spending on average around 90 minutes with the app each week.

Unlike the desktop and laptop web experience, these devices are allowing users to read at their leisure.

Some key facts from the presentation:

  • 42 percent of tablet users regularly read in-depth articles, with another 40 percent reading them occasionally
  • Tablet users are three times more likely to read an article than watch a news video
  • A user’s eye activity is far more focused on an iPad app than on a website
  • Some users believe the content received in an app is even worth more than content received elsewhere, with a large majority saying they find it easier to learn new things and enjoy the news more when using apps
  • The Economist projects a fall of over 50 percent in the preference for paper over other formats in the next 2 years, with tablet preference growing to over 20 percent.

¿Qué es una lectura significativa?

Lectura significativa: la que tiene auténtico significado para el lector.

Esto no es gratuito o casi tautológico. Estamos rodeados de textos que producen lecturas de poca significación personal, textos poco relevantes para el crecimiento del hombre o la mujer. Buscamos sentido para vivir, porque si no, la vida se hace insoportable.

Una lectura significativa puede alumbrar un problema, despejar una bruma personal, pero al mismo tiempo nos hace más conscientes de la complejidad de lo humano y de su riqueza. Y en el plano moral, esto debería hacernos más humildes.

La lectura del esteta, el que evita lo significativo, porque no se deja interpelar personalmente por el texto, es una lectura fallida. Aunque se trate de un gran texto.

via Mil lecturas, una vida.

Books are telescopes that open up the entire universe

Knowing how to read and not reading books is like owning skiis and not skiing, owning a board and never riding a wave, or, well, having your favorite sandwich in your hand and not eating it. If you owned a telescope that would open up the entire universe for you would you try to find reason for not looking through it?

Because that is exactly what reading is all about; it opens up the universe of humour, of adventure, of romance, of climbing the highest mountain, of diving in the deepest sea.

via I dare you all, test your strength: Open a book.

See also:  Announcing the Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge device,  We are not only WHAT we read, Less blogs. More books.

Connecting by reading out loud

THINK of it as an antidote to the electronic era. For 12 continuous hours last spring, 60 students and teachers at Hamilton College in upstate New York read aloud from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” which spans a dozen volumes.

“Most of us became interested in reading because of being read to,” says Margaret Thickstun, a professor of English at Hamilton, who will orchestrate another “Milton Marathon” in February. She hopes to condense this one to 10 uninterrupted hours. “These readings revive the notion that poetry is not a private, silent thing you do in a room with a piece of paper,” she says, “but something you actually speak.”

The marathon, or long, read is giving new life to a centuries-old oral tradition. St. Olaf College and the University of Arizona have similarly hosted readings of epic works, start to finish.

In November, the Russian department at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, read aloud all 1,358 pages of “War and Peace” on the 100th year of Tolstoy’s death. It took 24 hours. Kathleen Macfie, a professor of Russian who organized the reading, describes it as a lesson in slowing down: “It’s not part of their generational experience, to share something in real time, face-to-face, in a group.” —via NYTimes.com.

Asimov: a library is a spaceship, a time machine and a gateway

Dear Boys and Girls,

Congratulations on the new library, because it isn’t just a library.

It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you—and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life.

Signed, Isaac Asimov

via Letters of Note.

American consequentialist meets Cuban poet

I read the following from Dworkin and it reminded me of a poem from Martí. Part of the poem is better known as lyrics of the song “Guantanamera“.

Ronald Dworkin in Justice for Hedgehogs:

“Without dignity our lives are only blinks of duration. But if we manage to lead a good life well, we create something more. We write a subscript to our mortality. We make our lives tiny diamonds in the cosmic sands.”

José Martí in his poem “Yo soy un hombre sincero“:

All is beautiful and right,
All is music and reason;
And, as with diamonds, all light
Was coal before its season.

(Todo es hermoso y constante, Todo es música y razón,
Y todo, como el diamante, Antes que luz es carbón.)

Mintzberg’s “Managing” is Britain’s best management book

Every year Britain’s Chartered Management Institute awards a Management Book of the Year and this year’s choice is Managing by McGill University‘s Henry Mintzberg.

Following the announcement Mintzberg said “I would be honoured by this lovely prize in any event. But it has special meaning for me because, of all the places I go in this world, none matches the U.K. for intellectual stimulation. The Brits combine curiosity and empathy with wonderful individuality, by which I mean, not acting for oneself, but thinking for oneself. So to be honoured in this way in the U.K. is especially delightful.

 

 

Announcing the Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge device

Announcing the new Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge device (BOOK). It’s a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It’s so easy to use even a child can operate it. Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere–even sitting in an armchair by the fire–yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disk.

Here’s how it works: Each BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper, each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. These pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder that keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. The user scans each sheet optically, registering information directly into his or her brain. A flick of the finger takes the user to the next sheet.

The BOOK may be taken up at any time and used by merely opening it. The “browse” feature allows the user to move instantly to any sheet and to move forward or backward as desired. Most BOOKs come with an “index” feature that pinpoints the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval. An optional “BOOKmark” accessory allows the user to open the BOOK to the exact place left in a previous session–even if the BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers.

Portable, durable, and affordable, the BOOK is the entertainment wave of the future, and many new titles are expected soon, due to the surge in popularity of its programming tool, the Portable Erasable-Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus (PENCILS).

 

 

007, Blindness, and the City of God

Daniel Craig has not stopped that franchise from letting him secure a slew of other roles to take on in between his adventures as 007. The actor currently has two pretty big films (The Invasion, The Golden Compass) coming out later this year, and is now in talks to star in Blindness — adapted from Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago‘s novel — and to be directed by Fernando Meirelles (The Constant Gardner). Also in talks to co-star alongside Craig is the very beautiful (and very talented) Julianne Moore. (Cinematical)

The latest 007 movie, Casino Royale, was quite sober on the technology/gadget front. Not a bad way to introduce the “new” Bond.

I enjoyed Saramago’s novel (writing “I enjoyed Blindness” would have made an awkward sentence) in spite its long sentences and the author’s disdain for punctuation. The book is an allegory. It will leave you wondering. Saramago received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998.

If you liked the photography in The Constant Gardener then you also want to see Meirelles’ City of God (Cidade de Deus). It was nominated for four Oscars.