Wednesday February 16th, 2011

A Case of Reader’s Block

dyerFSG’s Work in Progress site is featuring an excerpt from Geoff Dyer’s forthcoming book of essays and reviews. It concerns his diminished reading habits as he ages. A piece:

[M]y declining ability to read is itself the product of having read a fair bit. If reading heightens your responses, shapes your idea of the world, gives you a sense of the purpose of life, then it is not surprising if, over time, reading should come to play a proportionately smaller role in the context of the myriad possibilities it has opened up. The more thoroughly we have absorbed its lessons, the less frequently we need to refer to the user’s manual. After a certain point subjective inwardness becomes self-rather than textually generated. Of course there is more to learn, more to read, but whereas, when I was a teenager, each new book represented an almost overwhelming addition to what I knew and felt, each new book now adds a smaller increment to the sum of knowledge.

(Via The Millions)