Monday, November 22, 2010

Five minutes

I have mentioned before about a BBC programme called Five Minutes With, which is an interview that lasts five minutes with a well-known person. This weekend, I was listening to an interview with Alain de Botton and he made some comments about reading and writing:


I think people become intellectual because of disturbance. My goal raising my own children is that they will never read a book or at least not be that dramatically inclined towards writing and reading ... because, I think, as I say, reading and writing is a response to anxiety often having a basis and childhood and, as I say, I hope to quench at least some of that need in my children.


I think there is some truth to what he says about intellectualism – that we can try and rationalise and to understand through expressing, or reading other people’s expression or understanding of, an issue or life in general. But a life without reading would seem a strange and alien one to me. Reading can be a great pleasure, a form of escapism, a way to challenge our own view or discover ideas that you would otherwise never have even considered. Sometimes there can be nothing more satisfying than sitting down with a good book, and not because it is intellectual or stretching, but because it is not. It is a pleasure in and of itself. What a shame it would be to miss out on the joy that can come from reading – and indeed in learning to express ourselves through the written word.

2 comments:

Claire Wilson said...

It would make sense for one who had experienced anxiety in childhood to want to escape into a written world. I know I did as a child. But I agree with you, wouldn't it be such a shame to miss out on the joy of reading books?!

Random Reflections said...

CW - I hope you're well. I think reading is a form of escapism, but it can also be so much more. What a shame to miss out on so many things by not ever reading.

I will catch up with your blog very soon.