Why we read

By Carol / March 11, 2014 /

Inner discourse. Deeper lives. To stay connected.

ReaderA Writer of History shares the gist of an insightful article on why we (still) read. Thanks, Mary Tod.

Why we read

A few months ago, my mother clipped an article out of the paper for me with the compelling title Why we (still) read. The author was Robert Fulford, a long-time and well known Canadian journalist.

Fullford discusses the benefits of reading and the way “books work on us”. Several bits stood out for me. The first is a quote taken from Mark Kingwell, a professor of philosophy:


…in reading books we construct our unique selves: “There is no self without reading.” Without the inner discourse that reading makes possible, self hardly exists.”

Read on for more compelling thoughts …

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  1. paulette mahurin on March 12, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Very interesting post. While writing certainly paints mental imagery and yes does enhance and create an inner self-dialogue, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that without it there would be no self. I see “self” appear with relating, in conversations, and yes in reading. Again, very interesting and novel post and article it refers to. Thanks!

    • Carol Bodensteiner on March 12, 2014 at 9:24 am

      That comment about “self” was one of the reasons I thought the article interesting/provocative. I read it as the author’s presumption that reading created the reflective alone moments that allow the reader to come to a personal conclusion, whereas in conversations and other exchanges, we’re in groups and not necessarily reflecting on our own self. Of course, that presumes that readers take time to internalize content and reflect. Not necessarily true. Thought provoking, at least, eh?

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