It has been my observation that people fall into two camps when it comes to reading with music: those who do and those who don’t. I admit that I fall into the former group, and I thought it might be an interesting subject to cover. The reasons for not listening to music while reading seem pretty obvious; distraction that leads to lessened comprehension and attention to what is happening in the story is most likely the biggest drawback, but what about the positive experience of listening to music for those who choose to do so?
There are those who believe that a book should be read once and then passed on to its next reader; I am not one of them. Granted, many of the books I read end up becoming favorites of mine (19 of the books reviewed on my blog have been re-reads), but most end up being sold to a used bookstore (see On the Subject of Giving, Keeping, Selling, and Buying Books). I understand why people believe that once a book is read, all of its secrets and beneficial qualities have been leeched out through the act and that it has nothing left to give; I don’t agree with it, but I understand. So, I thought it would be interesting to discuss the reasons for re-reading a book.
For a lot of people, explaining what they enjoy reading is easily done with one or two words: science fiction, fantasy, romance, nonfiction. Through no fault but my own (yes, you read that correctly) my own explanation is a little more complex. Upon graduating from college I realized that I could finally read whatever I wanted since my time wasn’t occupied with literary analysis, and I started keeping track of the books I was reading for fun; looking back at what I read in 2016, the variety present among the patterns is rather striking.
To deny oneself the ability to explore all of the possibilities in literature is simply wasting a grand opportunity to grow. I understand people have their favorite genres or authors (Lord knows I do), but remaining static in our reading only keeps us in one place as human beings. A case for reading the same author or genre is easily made, but why should we diversify when it is so much more comfortable to remain in what we know?
In today’s fast-paced world (because apparently that’s a phrase that can still be used despite being what I assume to be decades old), it is difficult to hold someone’s attention for more than a matter of seconds. I wasn’t even sure there was an audience for my writing on here because I tend to stay away from short content; thankfully, I was wrong.
If I am going to write something and put time in revising and editing, I want there to be something substantial to show for it. However, there are countless blogs and websites that have more followers and clicks because they stick with short posts that fit into people’s limited attention spans. If reading long articles online barely keeps someone preoccupied, how can reading books for fun even compete in this age of micro-attention?