Thursday, March 27, 2008

On Reading and Listening

"I read the book." The words fell with a finality.
"I... Read... The... Book." I've heard this phrase used twice recently. It comes with an angry sort of confrontation. Like someone saying "look, I've performed this stupid exercise, and it is the most ridiculous thing ever". It also leaves no uncertainty as to the perfection of the interpretation of the book. Somehow, this phrase takes grace and humility and tosses both out the window. If we are discussing a book that we've all read, why state that you read it?
You read the book. But you did not listen to it. You didn't allow it to inform you, or challenge you, or even just amuse you. You read it. But you didn't let it in. You pushed it away, or ignored it, or simply let your eyes go over the pages, but the words stopped at your eyes instead of your mind.

I've determined never to use that phrase. The futile sense of meaningless accomplishment is too much for me.

No comments: