Thursday, May 29, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Suggested by: Thisisnotabookclub

What is reading, anyway? Novels, comics, graphic novels, manga, e-books, audiobooks — which of these is reading these days? Are they all reading? Only some of them? What are your personal qualifications for something to be “reading” — why? If something isn’t reading, why not? Does it matter? Does it impact your desire to sample a source if you find out a premise you liked the sound of is in a format you don’t consider to be reading? Share your personal definition of reading, and how you came to have that stance.

This question immediately brings to mind a class I took my senior year of college. It was a class for those working on getting their English and secondary education degrees. The name of the class was "The Medium is the Message." We were encouraged to look beyond traditional teaching methods of lecture and individualized study, and think of other ways to persuade our students to read. Many people (probably including myself) would define reading as interpreting text on a page. However, in this class, we even looked into the definition of "text"--I actually wrote an entire paper on "What is Text?" Basically, what our class determined is that "text" is pretty much any medium that conveys information--either media clips, books, magazines, blogs, comic books, pieces of art, etc. Therefore, if you subscribe to this idea, then "reading" would be receiving information or ideas from any form of text.

I realize this might sound a little out there out there to some people, but I had to mention that class after seeing this week's question!


Trish said...

I will give it to the professor that he presented ideas and made you think differently about them. That sounds really cheesy. :) I have a difficult time thinking of audiobooks as reading, but for some people I guess the audio works better than the actual visual reading. I have to see something to get a better grasp. I'm rambling!

Literary Feline said...

I like your approach to this question, Laura. I think looking at it from an education standpoint offers a different slant on it than the approach I took. I admit that I struggled a bit in answering this question. How I define reading itself is not quite the same as how I would define myself as a reader. If that makes sense.