What is reading for?

Last weekend in her excellent column in The Times Erica Wagner mentioned the pamphlet What is Reading For? by Robert Bringhurst. He’s a historian of typography and, writes Wagner, ‘reading is as much a physical process as an intellectual one. “Reading” began with our bodies. Literature predates the book by tens of thousands of years; literature was, for most of human history, passed from mouth to ear, and came out of humankind’s deep physical engagement with the world. Literature is life.
Life and literature both deserve celebration–and respect. Bringhurst does not dismiss the e-book; rather he draws our attention back to the possibilities of the text embodied in beauty.’


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