Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why Do We Read?

I read this article last week in the New Yorker, and I've already forgot some of the key details. It deals with the idea that when we read, we frequently forget not just those details, but before too long, even the main idea. It brings up questions about the value of reading, as well as the culture around reading.

Here's the article, it's called The Curse of Reading and Forgetting:

My two take aways:

  1. The experience of reading is just as important as the concrete take aways. Usually when one reads thoughtfully, the richness of the experience involves emotional and intellectual growth, which is valid preparation for the world. 
  2. Rereading is just as important as reading for the first time. A second or third read yields new insights, and also solidifies specific information, ideas and understandings. At the same time, reading widely leads to valuable overlaps of ideas and information. If I read multiple different articles on the Iraq War, much of the same information will appear but in different forms, and that will enhance the understanding of the broader concept. 
I love reading, and if you're here, I suppose you do too! What are your thoughts on reading and forgetting? Does it bother you? Is that part of what you love about reading? How do you remember the things that you read that you don't want to forget? 

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