The Science and Pleasure of Reading

The Science and Pleasure of Reading

Many people who read silently do so by imagining a voice speaking the words they are reading…This could be because when we learn to read, we associate symbols with verbal sounds until the association is effortless…What’s particularly new about this study is that it not only shows that silent reading causes high-frequency electrical activity in auditory areas, but it shows that these areas as specific to voices speaking a language.’ I find this article interesting because my experience of native Japanese readers, with their highly complex orthography, aren’t as bothered as we native English speakers about whether they are able to voice any given character, as long as they can understand what it means.

Silent Reading Isn’t So Silent — At Least Not To Your Brain, from Neurotic Physiology.

I Hate This Book So Much: A meditation from Time

Why What You’re Reading Matters from Book Riot

What are your self destructive reading habits? from io9

So Many Books, So Little Time from Salon

When Do You Abandon A Book? from Reading Matters

Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes from The Four Hour Work Week

Hans Rosling: How the Washing Machine Sparked the Reading Revolution, a TED Talk

Lifetime of Reading Slows Cognitive Decline from PS Mag

How Reading Makes Us More Human from The Atlantic

It seems shameful to confess it now, but I didn’t always enjoy reading to my children when they were little, from The Guardian

Novels don’t have to be “good reads.” Sometimes, the best book is the one you throw across the room. From io9

Kids in Deere Park didn’t hang out on the street, at least not thirteen year olds, so Justine didn’t meet anyone the entire summer. This didn’t bother her. She drifted into a pleasant world of television and magazines which led, to her surprise, to reading books. Each book was an invisible tunnel leading to a phantom world that existed silently parallel to real life, into which one could vanish then emerge without anyone knowing. Hardy, Dickens, Poe, Chekov — she could barely understand the way the characters spoke, but it only made the experience more exotic, more secret, something to which no adolescent social rules applied. How had the hard-edged furniture, neon signs, and minimal hot-colored clothes evolved from the baroque book world, the complex, multilayered universe populated by people who spoke so elaborately and died of tuberculosis? It frightened her to think the world changed so quickly.

Mary Gaitskill, Two Girls, Fat And Thin

The best moments in reading are when you come across something — a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things — which you had thought unique and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.

Alan Bennett, from Art, Architecture and Authors 
Reading on the Garden Path (1883) by Albert Aublet (1851-1938)
William Stephen Coleman – An Interesting Story
Seymour Joseph Guy – Summer Issue 1861
Just a Couple of Girls, by American painter Harry Wilson Watrous (1915)
Just a Couple of Girls, by American painter Harry Wilson Watrous (1915)
Oscar Bluhm, 1892 reading outside in yellow light
Oscar Bluhm, 1892 reading
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema – This is Our Corner
Seymour Joseph Guy - An Interesting Book
Seymour Joseph Guy – An Interesting Book
George Goodwin Kilburne - Mother and Daughter
George Goodwin Kilburne – Mother and Daughter
Two boys, a girl and a border collie are sitting under a blossoming tree with a house in the near distance. The girl reads.
Norman Mills Price (1877 – 1951)
Jessie Willcox Smith (September 6, 1863 – May 3, 1935) boy and girl reading
Jessie Willcox Smith (September 6, 1863 – May 3, 1935) boy and girl reading
Jessie Willcox Smith (September 6, 1863 – May 3, 1935) reading an animal book
Jessie Willcox Smith (September 6, 1863 – May 3, 1935) reading an animal book
John French Sloan for New Masses, June 1926. A woman reading on a train.
John French Sloan for New Masses, June 1926
Lemon girl young adult novella

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Header painting: Guy Pène du Bois (1884 – 1958) Girl Reading a Book