Sunday, March 11, 2007

Let's Face It--I Will Never Know How To Read A Book

My failure to take instruction on how to read is well documented in this blog. I am still attracted to books I hope will improve my comprehension, though. I'm always worried I'm not quite getting it. Or, in some cases, not getting it at all. I'm always hoping that I will one day be more than I am.

Well, after reading Think you know how to read, do you? by Tom Lutz, I'm considering throwing in the towel. He does a review of a number of books on the subject, and, to be brutally honest, I sometimes had trouble working through even what he had to say forget about making my way through any of the titles he reviewed.

But what I did get from his essay (assuming I knew how to read it) is that a lot of people who write books on how to read books are just a little bit elitist. I mean, according to Lutz, many of these books are written by academics who don't even like each other forget about readers like myself who see the expression "the text" and find our minds filled with white noise. And then they appear to be very into telling us not so much how to read but what to read. Many of these how-to books include reading lists.

You wanna bet whether or not those lists include Buffy novelizations? Danielle Steele? John Grisham?

Lutz quotes one author, John Sutherland, as saying, "How can we identify the 10 percent, or less, of fiction available that is not crap?"

When I see something like that, I think, Yeah, I do want to be able to identify the crap books in the market--so I can go out and read them!!!!

Is it any wonder my family members struggle in the academic world? I think there's something wrong with our genes.

No comments: