reading experience

The signal value of reading

The signal value of reading

August 9, 2020
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For me, ”doing nothing” for the past month has, to a large extent, meant doing nothing but read. 20 books later, I got to talk about reading with Caspian the other day, speaking about the signal value of seeing someone read a book, rather than knowing they read (most commonly before falling asleep, I assume) but never actually seeing them with a book.

Both my parents read, read a lot, and read whenever there’s a possibility to read, not just before bedtime. And that’s been true for as long as I can remember. My grandparents also read, all of them. My aunts, my cousins, my siblings. We read. It’s simply something we do. (My mom says that once I learned how to read, I never stopped.)

But what Caspian said made me realize that today, when there are so many other ways of reading a book than to actually be holding a physical book –audiobooks, Kindle/ebooks–, I wonder at the signal value of it all. If I’m listening to a book (using my headphones that is), no one knows. I might as well be listening to music or a pod or whatever. And if I’m on my phone/iPad/computer reading an ebook, well… no one knows either. It looks the same as if I am scrolling SoMe, flicking thru the latest headlines in an online news site, or watching something on Netflix. If I’m on an actual Kindle, perhaps someone makes the link, knowing what a Kindle is and what it looks like, but I’m not sure everyone does. (That’s not true. I am sure not everyone knows what a Kindle is/looks like.)

Now, I love the physical book, because the kinesthetic value of it enriches my reading experience. I retain a physical sense of knowing if passages that stick out to me were in the beginning, middle or end of the book, on the right or left-hand page, if it was at the top, middle or bottom of the page, as well as being able to feel how much of the book remains. I love that. Am happy if people are reading books though, regardless of the medium.

But the signal value of it… that one has me puzzled. Perhaps I would not be reading as much as I do if I hadn’t seen my parent read all the time? Or if they had read in other ways than the very visible and easily spotted physical book?

What about you, who were your reading role models? And are you one?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Educated. A must-read.

May 25, 2018
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in Tip
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A few months ago, my brother sent me a podcast tip, of Tara Westover in conversation on Talking politics. I listened, intrigued and curious after reading this blurb:
David talks to Tara Westover about her incredible new book Educated, which tells the story of how a girl brought up by survivalists in Idaho and who never went to school ended up with a PhD from Cambridge.  Along the way we discuss what education means and what Tara’s journey has taught her about politics and about life.  Really, this is a conversation about the important stuff.

I searched for the book in my local library database, didn’t find it, and sent in a purchase request. As often happens, the library got the book, and sent me an email saying I could come pick it up. I did. And didn’t start to read, busy busy, with all the other books I’ve been reading (this being the 38th book I’ve read so far this year). Got another email from the library, saying I had to return it – managed to extend my loan, and still didn’t start to read, busy busy… Third email dropped into my inbox, saying the book was due back again. Tried to repeat my action to extend my loan, but alas, someone else has requested the book, due back this past Monday.

EducatedSo… I immediately returned it? No. Despicable me did not return it, but rather, finally got around to reading it! I just finished it, and I promise I will return it to the library come Monday, cross my heart and hope to die. And boy. What a book. What a story. I am very glad I took the time to read it.

Educated is…
impressive.
haunting.
hard to wrap my head around.
and a definite must-read!

During a visit to Cambridge in the UK; Tara get’s to walk atop the chapel of King’s College (it’s beautiful!), and walks up there, amazed at the sights. Her fellow students and the professor accompanying them, stays close to the walls, walking slowly and crab-like, afraid to fall to the ground. Tara doesn’t, and the professor points it out to her, asking how come she’s comfortable way up high on this roof.

“I can stand in this wind, because I’m not trying to stand in it,” I said. “The wind is just wind. You could withstand these gusts on the ground, so you can withstand them in the air. There is no difference. Except the difference you make in your head.”
He stared at me blankly. He hadn’t understood.
“I’m just standing,” I said. “You are all trying to compensate, to get your bodies lower because the height scares you. But the crouching and the sidestepping is not natural. You’ve made yourselves vulnerable. If you could just control your panic, this wind would be nothing.”
“The way it is nothing to you,” he said.

I’ve never actually thought about it, but she’s right. Why would it be harder to walk atop that roof, than down on the street below? Why is it harder to walk along a plank laid across a creek, that it is to walk across the kitchen floor? There is really not much of a difference, except the difference you make in your head. And once again, I am pointed back to the truth of how our thinking creates our experience of the world, in each and every moment.


Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”Educated” by Tara Westover

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A reading experience above and beyond the ordinary

April 29, 2016
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in Tip
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For the past month I’ve been reading The O Manuscript by Lars Muhl, and as I finished it last week, I am left with this:the o manuscript

  1. This is the most odd and at the same time the most astonishing book I’ve ever read. A reading experience above and beyond anything I’ve ever had. And as an avid reader, that is quite the statement.
  2. An insight into the power game of humanity. An ancient power game, which in this book is illustrated by the way the Christian church have omitted the female power from the entire story that is told and retold within Christianity. Eye-opening. And a strong sense of recognition. A shift is coming, a shift, from something un-balanced, to something more balanced. Male and female joining hands, working together, for the greater good.
  3. Few are the pages where I haven’t jotted down a comment, starred a beautiful phrase, or marked a paragraph or two of something that I want to look closer at. Phrases, thoughts, ideas to sit with, reflect upon, and just see what opens within me as I do.
  4. Knowing that this was but the first time I read this book. I have an urge already to start reading it again, from the very beginning. The knowing that this is a book that will accompany me on my life’s journey ahead is strong.

Large words. All from the reading of a book.
But yes.
It is a truly wonderful book. Powerful. Very different, in the best possible way.

So different in fact, that as I write this, I am struck by my lack of words. I cannot explain it. I cannot seem to describe my experience while reading it, onto paper. Inside me, there’s a breathless anticipation, an eagerness, the joy of knowing I’ve stumbled across something huge, something so important and life-altering that it’s almost, but just almost, scary. But it’s not. Because I have been opening up to the unknown the vast unknown that The O Manuscript points at, within me, is not something to be scared of. It’s sacred, holy, something to rejoice in, to explore, uncover, and most of all, to live.

I so hope you will pick it up. I also hope that you will get to experience some of the deep emotions this book has evoked in me. I would like to ask you of one thing though, if you do chose to get and read The O Manuscript:
Read it with an open heart, an open will and an open mind and see what awakens in you.
Read it in the state of curious exploration, and listen to what want’s to happen now.

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