Odyssey Online

Books and Quiet

June 28, 2013 · No Comments

A soaking rain through a couple of late June days seems like a good moment to contemplate quiet, rain on a metal roof quiet.  In a piece on reading that very much ties into the current commentary on the benefits of reading fiction, Maura Kelly published a piece in March in the Atlantic called A Slow-Books Manifesto.  It’s about aligning reading to the “slow” or hand made movement, the idea of taking the time to do things rather than buying them. One of the points she makes in this is reading in a quiet place in a quiet way–that the digital infrastructures that surround us (that I’m writing on now) have become overly invasive and that it takes a deliberate effort to push back. Reading a book slowly, attentively, makes a quiet space, it creates offline. In Tolstoy’s Dictaphone : Technology and the Muse (edited by Sven Birkerts) Mark Slouka has a powerfully argued essay titled “In Praise of Silence and Slow TIme: Nature and the Mind in a Derivative Age” where he argues the need that Kelly’s piece on ready is the remedy for.  If there is an original experience one can engage, it’s reading a book (yes a book, not an ebook).  Alberto Manguel’s book  The Library at Night speaks to this in a eloquent and pleasantly weird way, and a new book Quiet : the Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain is a study on the value of quiet.  The value of rainy June days and books as a combination…

Categories: Books · Essay on Bibliography · Essay on Technology

St. Lawrence University