Friday, January 15, 2010

Notes on Reading

1. The first thing about reading is: we don't know how it happens.

2. The world we move in habitually is the ambit of our reading. Some of it takes the form of words.

3. Reading a book is not the same as reading a traffic sign. And even among the latter, there are distinctions. I see, at a freeway entrance, "North 75" and "South 75": the two occurrences of the number 75 mean different things to me. And they also depend on whether i need to use that highway or not.

4. Reading a poem is more like reading a person than reading a sign.

5. Reading a book you like is not the same as reading one you don't. And reading a book for something you need to find out is a third way, still.

6. Rereading, after years have passed.

7. What changes for you after you have learned to parse Middle English and then go back and read something in Modern?

8. A clothes hanger in a closet; in a parking lot.

9. "Incarnadine".

10. Some words are candy. Imagine they were other words.

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