Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Season's Readings! (copy)

The University of Memphis reported that while 32 teenage girls watched TV their metabolism dropped 16 percent below resting metabolic rate, according to Raphael Calzadilla of eDiets.

Can you believe it? A person burns 70 calories reading a book and only 47 watching TV. That’s right, kind of knocks that over-weight, bookworm stereotype off her comfy couch as big(ger) sister wields the remote.

Ready to flip off that TV and flip open a book? I thought so! Make 2007 the year you lose weight and gain knowledge by reading.

First, let us travel back in time for an oldie but goodie, The History of Reading by Alberto Manguel, which was published in 1996. As a young man, Alberto Manguel read books aloud to fellow Argentinaian, Jorge Luis Borges. At the time, Borges was 58 and almost blind. Author Manguel has written or edited thirty works of non-fiction.

Manguel’s first chapter is titled, “The Last Page.” Who out there reads the last page first? The following are other chapter titles: “Learning to Read,” “Being Read To,” and “Private Reading.” Library Journal claims, “The result is a fascinating book to dip into or read cover to cover.” If you like this book, you may like his follow-up, A Reading Diary: A Passionate Reader’s Reflection on a Year of Books.

Francine Prose, author of 14 books of fiction, has written an excellent book on reading, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. Author Prose says, “The trick to writing is reading—carefully, deliberately and slowly.” You might want to read a book from her “Books to be Read Immediately” list.

There are two new books on the “art of reading” literarily. The Look of Reading by Garrett Stewart and Reading Women by Stefan Bollmann with forward by Karen Joy Fowler. Both books include paintings, drawings, and photographs of men, women and children reading. Stewart’s art book also includes those pieces with text in the medium.

Bollmann’s book, as the title suggest, concentrates on women. In Fowler’s forward she states, “A woman reading, after all, is a woman not cooking or cleaning.” Darn those lazy women readers.