Monday, February 25, 2013

The fine print

I've been on a book buying spree lately which is really weird since I swore off this bad habit some time ago. right about the time when I realized there is a little less than no more room for books here at the chateau. I suppose I'll have to cull the herd to make room for the new books.

I'm thinking about the central idea in one of the books I'm reading - that oral history can not be transcribed. It can not be contained in text and is therefore not literature. That's interesting. Made me wonder about memoirs that are, in essence, the transcription of memory, something else that can not be contained in text.

What are blogs, anyway? Definitely not literature, that's for sure. The form is almost but not quite essay, almost but not quite memoir. It's interesting to think about.

The other book I'm reading with a passion is a history of the squelching of astrology in popular culture, also fascinating.

You see this is why I'm uninterested in novels, even the classics, even the most gorgeous stories told with the most gorgeous words. I try to read them, but never get far into them. Truth is: I don't care. And I always think, "I could be reading about the brain right now," or some such thing. It feels like a waste of my time.

I guess I'm not a lover of literature. Maybe I shouldn't admit that publicly!


ellen abbott said...

I wouldn't put it like that. You read. You just prefer to gain knowledge than to spend time with a story. though there are some stories you can learn a lot from.

ellen abbott said...

I guess I meant just to be entertained.

Reya Mellicker said...

I do not read for entertainment, it's true. Good point - because I love movies which are always a story.

I read to study and learn. God I am so Jewish!

Steve Reed said...

LOL @ your comment above!

I know a lot of people like you, who prefer nonfiction over fiction. I think many people question the point of fiction. I feel like I learn a lot from novels, though -- I love a good novel. I guess I am more about the entertainment, but I much prefer a challenging novel to a beach book.

Pam said...

Having moved house so many times (about 25 since leaving home at 19), it was always the books that gave the most trouble and were most time consuming to pack ie. browsing pre-cull - his and hers books - heavy, back-breaking when packed.
One move we became ruthless and kept only the absolute favourites, and now use the libraries, yard sales and charity shop finds, which are read and recycled again.
My daughter found an old family photo of our living room when she was small - we all gasped at the size of the book collection in the shelves - had completely forgotten we ever had that many!

Reya Mellicker said...

Every available space in the house where I grew up was crammed with books. I have a few of them - and I treasure them. But gone is the era of having a great library at home. Now people read a book then put it on the sidewalk. One year I read only books I found in boxes on the sidewalk, an interesting practice.

Rebecca Clayton said...

I used to love to read novels, but I don't read so many anymore. I always blamed graduate school for changing my reading habits, but I'm beginning to think it's age-related. I'm not going to have enough years left to read all the books I want, so I need to make every book count. Does that make sense?

Reya Mellicker said...

Rebecca that is exactly how I feel!

Reya Mellicker said...

Time's a wastin'