Tag Archives: theodore dreiser

Types of Reading / Writing

I was talking to my wife the other night, and we were talking about how hard it was to find time to read.

“Yeah, I never do as much reading as I wish I did,” I said, motioning to my bookshelf. I was reading Google News at the time. “You know, I’ve only read about two-thirds of those books.”

“Oh, I know. All day, I’m grading student work, and I just don’t feel like I have time to read anymore,” my wife said as she sorted through a stack of coupons on her lap.

See … this is it. We read all the time. We read (news, funny articles, online comic strips, homework, online fiction, etc.) and write (texts, blogs, emails, homework, etc.) all of the time, yet we do not count those things. It’s a strange thing, but these forms seem invalid. I’m not sure why this is. I mean, I’m not suggesting it is the same as writing a novel or reading Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy (which one should never do, unless one enjoys awful books), but it is reading and writing. It isn’t as though I’m spending all day staring at a TV or playing video games.

Perhaps there is something to these forms. Maybe it’s the immediacy that makes them invalid. There’s something cheap about them. I mean, when I write a story, I’m still writing to an audience … but it seems distant, maybe dignified. I don’t know. Maybe I’m fooling myself.

My writing resolution for 2012 has thus far been rather unsuccessful, so I am starting fresh with a February resolution. Hopefully, this will work out better.

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