BBC article a couple of days ago and it got me thinking about reading. Back in the days of yore, folks used to gather around campfires and entertain each other by telling stories but the advent of the industrial revolution and capitalism boiled this love of stories down into the individualised package that we know and love today: the novel. Ostensibly, this made reading an individual endeavour - if you've ever tried to co-read a book in a short-resourced English Lit class in high school, you will know why - but the social aspect out of sharing our stories is still very much there.
Reflecting on my own reading practices, I realised that while yes, much of what I read, I read alone I would KILL for someone to read a book to me. Or pay for it through the Audiobooks section of iTunes. As a kid my father read all sorts of classics to us, including all three books of Lord of the Rings. For a bloke who worked a 10 hour day that's some achievement. Hearing the story in your own voice in your own head is great but hearing it from someone else can add dimensions to it that you might not have thought of, like how Gollum sounds when he coughs or the pure terror of the Black Riders.
a well-written sentence can't be underestimated. It's when it is spoken that words are most alive - light bounces off them and illuminates dark corners of previously unexplored ideas. I really could wax lyrical here about this but I'll spare you more details. Safe to say I'm a major language geek and prefer to hear poetry rather than read it.
My third and final point proving that I'm totally a social reader: book club. Nothing and I mean nothing gets me more animated than talking about books. When I have a mug of coffee in my hand, a slice of cake on my plate and several good friends all in the same place talking about the same book, I'm pretty well in heaven. In fact, if heaven does not have a good library and book clubs, I really don't fancy going there. Also the fact that I write on here about books proves that I'm a social reader. I want to put my thoughts out there and see what other people think too. Blogging is, in a way, a huge book club meeting online.
So yet again, I'm keen to know what you think. Are you a Lone Reader or a Social Bookerfly?