Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Quiet

There are many good things about getting away from all the technology where communication is instant and where toasters, ovens, microwave ovens and coffee pots beep at you and their digital clocks blaze and flash 24 hours a day.

One benefit is time takes on a new meaning and means you do things when it seems natural to do them. You eat when hungry not when a clock says it's dinner time. For me it is also more conducive to reading. It's really cool when things are so unhurried where one can read a more difficult book.

At home I'm lucky if my attention span will allow me to read ten pages, but without distractions I can plow through hundreds of pages with little difficulty and high retention. Right now I'm reading Moby-Dick. This volume requires an attention span.

I think everyone knows the story, but I think few people have ever read this book, just like most people think that they have seen the John Waters film Pink Flamingos, but when they do see it they realize that they haven't.

When I was in grade school our library was a small room and all the kids would rush to pull the largest books off the shelves to make themselves look like they were capable of reading a big book. Books like Kon Tiki and Moby-Dick were two books that flew off the shelves to be returned the next week unread.

It takes a better than average understanding of the lexicographical history of our language in order to comprehend most of Melville's works. Quiet goes a long way in helping ones concentration and retention with works such as this. More on Melville tomorrow.


Blogger darev2005 said...

Now that our house is completely empty and will remain that way and my stress levels are slowly dropping down again, I am trying to get back into reading more. It's helping me relax some. Now I need to hunt around for the perfect reading chair. My computer chair, while comfy, is too close to the computer and my recliner is in front of the teevee. Too many distractions. Maybe when the temps drop a little more I can take myself outside. Got plenty of chairs out there.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

When I used to spend time at the cabin, I could read for hours there.

11:56 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev and Donna, environment is essential. Oddly now live in the best environment for reading but sadly I don't read as much as I did twenty years ago.

4:04 PM  

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