TSUNDOKU n. Leaving a book unready after buying it, typically piled up together with other unread books.*
(Ella Frances Sanders)
The art of reading a book is the best example of distance learning ever invented.**
It was the second space in our walk-through experience of Communication Through the Ages.^
The walls were covered with newsprint, words becoming lines on paper, providing clear lists or instructions; stacks of books populated the floor, and it was possible to pick up one of these and connect with someone who was in a different place or even dead, but their voices were present to us in the text.
We take books and reading for granted but when you step back and see this technology for what it is, it is quite magical, capable of igniting imaginations and changing lives.
I am speaking to myself, really, because for many years I found an excuse for not reading more than a few books a year, but then a great desire to grow and to become changed all of that, and I am grateful for all the mind-openers, companions, navigators and encouragers I have met through the words of their books.^^
I recommend Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick’s A Velocity of Being for all ages to read about books and reading.
*From Ella Frances Sanders’ Lost in Translation: tsundoku is Japanese;
**Neil Gaiman, quoted in Austin Kleon’s blog: The best distance learning is reading a book;
^The first space centred on a communal fire around which we sat and communicated our news and stories; the third space would be filled with TV screens where we silently watched and listened; the fourth with laptop computers where silence again would reign as keys were pressed to communicate with someone far away, or perhaps in the same room.
^^We can count podcasts and audio books and such as alternatives or additions.