It's amazing to me how personal and unique the experience of reading really is. Reading can be a concert, a nuclear explosion, a torrid love affair, a journey to exotic locales (including outer/inner space), or even Marvin Gaye singing the Star Spangled Banner at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game. But mostly, reading is an imagined conversation. A short text is like passing someone in a hallway and getting a snippet of information ("Hey, how ya doin'?" "Fine.") or entertainment ("Dude, you wouldn't believe what happened last night!"). A longer text can feel like a relationship; when I finish a really good book I feel a little wistful saying goodbye to characters who have managed to take on lives of their own and become "people" in my imagination. Experiencing all this without leaving my couch still surprises me with all sorts of thoughts and feelings I wouldn't have if I didn't read.
How do you feel about reading? [*Besides disliking school assignments. I think we can agree that none of us like being made to do anything-- I'm asking about the reading you've sought out on your own. And if you haven't, it's time to start. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help getting started.] How have your reading experiences (or lack of reading experiences) influenced the way you think and feel about reading? As you read Montaigne's ideas, think about how we can choose texts and design reading experiences this year that will make you a happier and more effective reader. I look forward to your comments.