posts about or somewhat related to ‘reading’
We need news organizations to help our curiosity by signaling how their stories fit into the larger themes on which a sincere capacity for interest depends. To grow interested in any piece of information, we need somewhere to “put” it, which means some way of connecting it to an issue we already know how to care about. A section of the human brain might be pictured as a library in which information is shelved under certain fundamental categories. Most of what we hear about day to day easily signals where in the stacks it should go and gets immediately and unconsciously filed: News of an affair is put on the heavily burdened shelf dedicated to How Relationships Work, a story of the sudden sacking of a CEO slots into our evolving understanding of Work & Status.
But the stranger or the smaller stories become, the harder the shelving process grows. What we colloquially call “feeling bored” is just the mind, acting out of a self-preserving reflex, ejecting information it has despaired of knowing where to place.
Alain de Botton, The Future of News, The Week.
The piece is an excerpt from his new book The News: A User’s Manual, which we’re currently reading and will have thoughts to tumble about soon. In the meantime, it’s an important conversation to have. Here’s a take on some key points from a review in The Guardian:
These are all worthy areas, to be sure. They are what intelligent, concerned citizens ought to want to know about the world that surrounds them. Perhaps, two centuries ago, the general populace could manage without The News most of the time. But now it’s omnipresent, inescapable and, on this thesis, stuck in too many arcane ruts, pandering to fear and pessimism, relishing disappointment.
Yet you can’t make the whole journey merely by playing the dissatisfied consumer.
[…] News starts with you, your family, your interests, your street. It expands via TV, captured by the people and lives you see on screen. (It was more interested in foreign coverage when it seemed the cold war could destroy us all at the push of a button). It is a box of fragments you try to assemble for yourself, rather than a finished jigsaw. Which means that it can’t be pinned down in a handy user’s guide. But at least it’s worth thinking about constantly, fine, frisky, philosophical minds applied. For the construct is you.
— Mary Karr, author, to the Paris Review. The Art of Memoir No. 1.
“Nothing replaces a good editor, and I would add, a good visual editor, creating the news for the reader so that it makes enjoyable and interesting reading.” — Francois Dufour
There are many more ways to read news material these days, thanks to the Internet. The Internet makes news easy to…
Could a new generation, raised on print newspapers from childhood, be the key to saving print media? I hope you’ll read this fascinating interview with Francois Dufour, the editor and chief and co-founder of Play Bac, publishers of Mon Quotidien, the first daily print newspaper for kids. The aim is to get kids to read for 10 minutes per day.
Delivered six times per week with the mail, the three age-targeted dailies have 150,000 subscribers and 2 million readers in France.
Kids love them because the content is not adult news explained to kids! It is news a nine or 12 or 15 year-old is interested in. We seldom feature an article on the same day it is published in adult news. One exception was the day bin Laden was killed. Also, I think kids like the fact that our papers are short (four to eight pages long). Our papers are also very visual. Finally, the journalism in our newspapers is serious. It is not childish.
While the newspaper has been downloadable for more than one year, Dufour says that only about 150 people per day read the app version of the publication.
Amazon announced today that Kindle and Kindle app users can now check out electronic books from 11 thousand local libraries around the United States.
You know, like we do with analog books. Except this time you receive the book via WiFi or USB.
Unlike analog books you can make margin notes and highlights and librarians won’t give you the stink eye for doing so.
Visit your local library’s Web site to see if it’s participating in the program.