The Books of My Numberless Dreams

Here we are

Posted on: November 18, 2006

I have decided to create a space in which I can scribble whatever thoughts preoccupy my mind. I am a member of two messageboards where I can post about books but I often find those avenues limiting. I tried an online bookclub but only three people actually read the book chosen although many more people voted for it. (It was Lolita.) I won’t join the ones in my town because the ones in real life are too tyrannical for my tastes.

My reading tastes and options have evolved since I came to Canada for university and I will compare my reading lifestyle before and since. There are the gaps in my reading that continually bother me: the ones highlighted by my wider readings, my former studies, and the ones aggravated by my distance of home.

I am opinionated, political, occasionally hot-headed, aggressive and impulsive. There will be the chance post on politics or current events. I am also self-critical. I will try to explore the confused mess I have become, traditionally seen as something of an oreo, now uprooted from Jamaica with most of my family newly settled in the US.

I will end this post with an excellent quote from Zadie Smith about reading, found via Boing Boing.

But the problem with readers, the idea we’re given of reading is that the model of a reader is the person watching a film, or watching television. So the greatest principle is, “I should sit here and I should be entertained.” And the more classical model, which has been completely taken away, is the idea of a reader as an amateur musician. An amateur musician who sits at the piano, has a piece of music, which is the work, made by somebody they don’t know, who they probably couldn’t comprehend entirely, and they have to use their skills to play this piece of music. The greater the skill, the greater the gift that you give the artist and that the artist gives you. That’s the incredibly unfashionable idea of reading. And yet when you practice reading, and you work at a text, it can only give you what you put into it. It’s an old moral, but it’s completely true.

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