On Reading Books (Really)

How many ways to read books do you know? Do you read them only for their content or do you also enjoy other aspects of them?

We all enjoy a good story. And storytelling dominates today’s contemporary media production. But, what stories do books tell us? In other words, if we look at books at artifacts, what stories emerge?

In Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print, Jay David Bolter describe what we usually call “reading” as “anti-reading:”

Passive reading, the desire to be surrounded by the text, is as close as reading can come to being a perceptual rather than a semiotic experience. The goal of passive reading is to forget oneself by identifying with the narrative world presented. In this sense passive reading is antireading, since true reading is an encounter with signs in which the reader continually asserts (and repeatedly loses) his or her independence of the text. Like reading technologies, the computer too can be used for antireading.

Portrait of Marquise de Pompadour by François Boucher, 1756
BOUCHER, François
Portrait of Marquise de Pompadour, 1756

Even if we can read in a room by ourselves, we’re connected to the world through books, often in ways that we don’t fully consciously realize. In this blog, we’re going to look at books from this angle. We’re going to explore their history and evolution, talk about their present and future, and discuss their interaction with education, culture, art, and economy. Here, you’re going to find also information about exhibitions and other events linked to the production of books that really want to be read.

I believe that knowing how books and the devices we use to read them have evolved interests a wide audience of readers, from book professionals to scholars to publishing students to book lovers, all connected by the pleasure and need to read.

Here, I help authors who want to publish their writings, and I offer a wide variety of services: planning, development, design, copyediting, and proofreading. You’ll find all the necessary information on these pages.

Featured image: Eduard Manet, The Reading (1868).

Sources

Bolter, Jay David. Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print. London: Routledge, 2001.

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