Tuesday, April 17, 2012

World too much? Try another one


I would not be writing this, I would not be breathing on this planet, without being a reader.

Reading has saved me countless times—carried me off—made all this bearable.

As much as she has been around it, my daughter does not read. I doubt she has ever read a whole book.

I can’t read now either—with my vision—but people read to me—audiobooks.

A psychologist named Victor Nell conducted experiments to see how using your eyes to decipher squiggles on a sheet of paper can immerse us in an imaginary experience that transcends everyday life.

What is going on in our heads when we are “lost in a book”?

What leads us to push the pause button on our own existence, check our prejudices, personal history, and time/space coordinates at the door, and deliver ourselves willingly to a vicarious experience, spending hours absorbed in an activity that has no practical purpose?

Since when—Nell says—do our lives have to be so purposeful?

And saving my life—that is a purpose. To me, anyhow.

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