Reading “Intensively” (Vertical Reading) vs. Reading “Extensively” (Horizontal Reading)

“Time feels especially shallow these days, as the wave of one horror barely crests before it’s devoured by the next, as every morning’s shocking headline is old news by the afternoon.”

In today’s fast-paced digital world, making the time to read intensively has been a constant struggle for me. I get distracted easily, my phone is a sure-fire way to get easy, fast, and cheap entertainment. I browse reddit endlessly for hours. It’s hilarious and I laugh a lot when I surf through the content. But what have I gained? How have I improved by reading this content? What I have learned? Nothing substantial. Feels great in the moment, but afterward I’m left looking behind at a gross void of wasted time.

I don’t think I’m alone in this, nor is this a new problem. One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes, “a Classic is something everyone wants to have read, but no one wants to read” hits just a little too close for home for me. Even Twain’s pre-digital age, the world was full of great literature, and few people wanted to put forth the effort to read Moby Dick or Les Miserables. I gaze longingly on this wonderful reading list and cringe with terror. How will I ever begin? How can I understand this stuff? Who will help me?

I guess the journey to a finished book begins with a single page. I need to be patient with my progress.

This musing was brought to you by a recently-published article: Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction by Mairead Small Staid. Written February 8, 2019. Continue reading “Reading “Intensively” (Vertical Reading) vs. Reading “Extensively” (Horizontal Reading)”

Save Children’s Literature

A reading list should awaken children to the great classics, on whose cultural foundation the modern literary firmament was built.

Taking some notes on a Quillette article, “A Plea to Save Children’s Literature” by Carla Wilson. Continue reading “Save Children’s Literature”