This was 14 years, 22 days ago

thought walking by bookstore:

self-help books make more sense than self-help audiotapes because, with books, you are actively reading and attempting to parse language. The pages unitize/quantize progress: from cover to cover = start to finish. In reading and flipping, there is active engagement. 'Interacting' with audiotapes really consists of a passive listening. Reels indicate progress through the thickness of the tape left. You listen; time goes by; the reel thins imperceptibly, and before you know it, you're done, but nothing has changed, nothing has happened to you.

Really, all I want to do is to quote Zadie Smith:

"But the problem with readers, the idea we're given of reading is that the model of a reader is the person watching a film, or watching television. So the greatest principle is, "I should sit here and I should be entertained." And the more classical model, which has been completely taken away, is the idea of a reader as an amateur musician. An amateur musician who sits at the piano, has a piece of music, which is the work, made by somebody they don't know, who they probably couldn't comprehend entirely, and they have to use their skills to play this piece of music. The greater the skill, the greater the gift that you give the artist and that the artist gives you. That's the incredibly unfashionable idea of reading. And yet when you practice reading, and you work at a text, it can only give you what you put into it. It's an old moral, but it's completely true."

-Zadie Smith