Share this content on Facebook!
08 Jun 2011

(source)

Came across this post summing up beautifully what it means to be a reader today:

"The vast majority of the world's books, music, films, television and art, you will never see. It's just numbers.

"...It's undoubtedly true; there are things that fade. But I can't help blaming, in part, the fact that we also simply have access to more and more things to choose from more and more easily. Netflix, Amazon, iTunes – you wouldn't have to go and search dusty used bookstores or know the guy who works at a record store in order to hear most of that stuff you're missing. You'd only have to choose to hear it.

"You used to have a limited number of reasonably practical choices presented to you, based on what bookstores carried, what your local newspaper reviewed, or what you heard on the radio, or what was taught in college by a particular English department. There was a huge amount of selection that took place above the consumer level. (And here, I don't mean "consumer" in the crass sense of consumerism, but in the sense of one who devours, as you do a book or a film you love.)

"Now, everything gets dropped into our laps, and there are really only two responses if you want to feel like you're well-read, or well-versed in music, or whatever the case may be: culling and surrender.

"Culling is the choosing you do for yourself. It's the sorting of what's worth your time and what's not worth your time. It's saying, 'I deem Keeping Up With The Kardashians a poor use of my time, and therefore, I choose not to watch it.' It's saying, 'I read the last Jonathan Franzen book and fell asleep six times, so I'm not going to read this one.'

"Surrender, on the other hand, is the realization that you do not have time for everything that would be worth the time you invested in it if you had the time, and that this fact doesn't have to threaten your sense that you are well-read. Surrender is the moment when you say, 'I bet every single one of those 1,000 books I'm supposed to read before I die is very, very good, but I cannot read them all, and they will have to go on the list of things I didn't get to.'

"It is the recognition that well-read is not a destination; there is nowhere to get to, and if you assume there is somewhere to get to, you'd have to live a thousand years to even think about getting there, and by the time you got there, there would be a thousand years to catch up on.

"...It's an effort, I think, to make the world smaller and easier to manage, to make the awareness of what we're missing less painful. There are people who choose not to watch television – and plenty of people don't, and good for them – who find it easier to declare that they don't watch television because there is no good television (which is culling) than to say they choose to do other things, but acknowledge that they're missing out on Mad Men (which is surrender)."

-- excerpts from The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We're All Going To Miss Almost Everything by Linda Holmes (read the whole post)


Comments

There isn't any comment in this page yet!

Do you want to be the first commenter?


New Comment

Full Name:
E-Mail Address:
Your website (if exists):
Your Comment:
Security code: