I Saw the Sun Briefly

by Patrick on January 26, 2010

It’s going to rain again.  This is big news around here.  Two weeks of rain?  It’s like we live in Seattle all of a sudden, except that we don’t have an NFL team and we have two NBA teams.  So, not much like Seattle, actually.  Anyway, here are a few bookish links to get you through the day:

  • Does anyone else feel like Motoko Rich just writes essentially the same article over and over again?  (Cue the “Don’t you just write the same post over and over again?” comments.)  Each piece is basically a variation on this:  “For years people read this way, but that is changing. Thanks to technology they are reading – gasp – a different way.  Some argue that this is the end of the world.  Others say it’s no big deal and really isn’t that different.  But don’t worry, most people are still reading the old way.” Don’t believe me?  Consider this piece on social reading and this post about reading a book on a cellphone.  Also, the social reading piece has more than a hint of classist sneer to it, I think, with book club members portrayed as Chardonnay-sipping Oprah fanatics (some are, no doubt) while those who prefer reading in solitude are, well, Virginia Woolf.   These types of articles always end with a reaffirmation of the status-quo:  “That doesn’t stop Mr. Bucher from having a deeply intimate relationship with books. “I still read the book at home at night by myself with one lamp,” he said. “The next day it does enhance my experience to talk about it.””  And:  “But Mr. Bryant acknowledged that the iPhone, while convenient, did not serve every reading purpose.  “I’ve got a 3-year-old at home, and he really digs books,” Mr. Bryant said. “I remembering pilfering my parents’ shelves, and if everything is on the iPhone, he’s just not going to have that visual temptation. So we keep the shelves loaded.””  I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong.
  • Worth reading:  At HTML Giant, Blake Butler uses the most recent issue of Fence — in particular the editor’s note by Rebecca Wolff — to decry the “smallness” of most literary magazines:  “So many magazines and publishers fail financially because first they fail to enthrall, because their contents are bound in breadth enough that they are forced to compete for attention by things like movies, and often wheel around the elements that make text capable of approaching, creating space untouchable by another medium.”
  • And lastly, in a bit of shameless self-promotion, I have an essay at The Millions about The Real World and the rise (and fall?) of reality television:  “Season two of The Real World is, arguably, the single most important season of any TV show of the last twenty years.  It is one of those watershed moments that happens once or twice a generation.”  Also of note:  Choire disagrees.