“It’s the path of least resistance to reading, which is why even now that I’ve realized it, I haven’t been inclined to do anything about it. There hasn’t been any great and conscious rush back to physical books over digital. It just seems to have stopped being one-over-the-other all of a sudden. I’m happy to take books either way, which is a completely new experience.”—from Accidentally Going Digital by Peter Damien (via bookriot)
imagine a dragon who hoarded librarians and every so often knights come to rescue them and the librarians get very upset because the dragon is quiet and reshelves everything neatly and the knights are Very Annoying
TWO MORE DAYS to submit your poems to Button Poetry’s annual chapbook contest! Winner receives a $500 cash prize, 50 free copies, and roundtrip travel to Minnesota for a book release party, filmed by Button. Note: ALL FINALISTS FROM THE CONTEST will be invited to perform and be filmed at a Button show. Don’t miss out, and make sure to like and reblog to spread the word!
It’s a common and easy enough distinction, this separation of books into those we read because we want to and those we read because we have to, and it serves as a useful marketing trope for publishers, especially when they are trying to get readers to take this book rather than that one to the beach. But it’s a flawed and pernicious division… a debased cultural Puritanism, which insists that the only fun to be had with a book is the frivolous kind, or that it’s necessarily a pleasure to read something accessible and easy. Associating pleasure and guilt in this way presumes an anterior, scolding authority—one which insists that reading must be work.
But there are pleasures to be had from books beyond being lightly entertained. There is the pleasure of being challenged; the pleasure of feeling one’s range and capacities expanding; the pleasure of entering into an unfamiliar world, and being led into empathy with a consciousness very different from one’s own; the pleasure of knowing what others have already thought it worth knowing, and entering a larger conversation.
The fallacy that the pleasures offered by reading must necessarily be pleasures to which a self-defeating sense of shame is attached offers a very impoverished definition of gratification, whatever book we choose to pull from the shelf.