Reader's Bill of Rights 1. The right to not read 2. The right to skip pages 3. The right to not finish 4. The right to reread 5. The right to read anything 6. The right to escapism 7. The right to read anywhere 8. The right to browse 9. The right to read out loud 10. The right to not defend your tastes
For those who resist the notion that the mainstream is a genre, we recommend that they browse the shelves of their local bookstore. For if the mainstream is not a genre, then it must necessarily embrace all kinds of writing: romance, adventure, horror, thriller, crime, and, yes, science fiction.
James Patrick Kelly
Want to inspire your kids to read more? Try giving them kids some money to spend just on a book. Take them to a bookstore and let them browse and pick out one book that they will love. Or try going to a local library for a few hours and just let your kids sift through books that interest them.
Flipboard is really fun because it's like a digital magazine that lets you curate your favorite things and follow your favorite people. I do Instagram but not Vine. I love Vine, but I don't have time to browse through it. So when I'm on YouTube, I'll look up the 'best of Vine' compilations.
We stopped to browse in the cases, and now that William - with his new glasses on his nose - could linger and read the books, at every title he discovered he let out exclamations of happiness, either because he knew the work, or because he had been seeking it for a long time, or finally because he had never heard it mentioned and was highly excited and titillated. In short, for him every book was like a fabulous animal that he was meeting in a strange land.
Thanks is part to our education system, we tend to think that we're smarter than the stupid guys in funny wigs who came before us. But that's because we are mistaking technology, progress, and access to information for intelligence. We think that because we know how to use iPhones (but not build them), browse the Internet (but not understand how it works), and use Google (but not really know anything), our educational system is working just great. By the same token, we think that those dumb aristocrats who used horses to get around and didn't have electricity were neanderthals.
The life of the wood, meadow, and lake go on without us. Flowers bloom, set seed and die back; squirrels hide nuts in the fall and scold all year long; bobcats track the snowy lake in winter; deer browse the willow shoots in spring. Humans are but intruders who have presumed the right to be observers, and who, out of observation, find understanding.
There is only one way to read, which is to browse in libraries and bookshops, picking up books that attract you, reading only those, dropping them when they bore you, skipping the parts that drag-and never, never reading anything because you feel you ought, or because it is part of a trend or a movement. Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty-and vise versa. Don't read a book out of its right time for you.
Record stores are the backbone of the recorded music culture. It's where we go to network, browse around, and find new songs to love. The stores whose staff live for music have spread the word about exciting new things faster and with more essence than either radio or the press. Any artist that doesn't support the wonderful ma and pa record stores across America is contributing to our own extinction.
One cannot walk down an avenue, converse with a friend, enter a building, browse beneath the sandstone arches of an old arcade without meeting an instrument of time. Time is visible in all places. Clock towers, wristwatches, church bells divide years into months, months into days, days into hours, hours into seconds, each increment of time marching after the other in perfect succession. And beyond any particular clock, a vast scaffold of time, stretching across the universe, lays down the law of time equally for all.
When I worked in a second-hand bookshop - so easily pictured, if you don't work in one, as a kind of paradise where charming old gentlemen browse eternally among calf-bound folios - the thing that chiefly struck me was the rarity of really bookish people. Our shop had an exceptionally interesting stock, yet I doubt whether ten per cent of our customers knew a good book from a bad one. First edition snobs were much commoner than lovers of literature, but oriental students haggling over cheap textbooks were commoner still, and vague-minded women looking for birthday presents for their nephews were commonest of all.
They would come with languages that sounded like dog bark; with a childish hunger for animal fur. They would forever fence land, ship whole trees to faraway countries, take any women for quick pleasure, ruin soil, befoul sacred places and worship a dull, unimaginative god. They let their hogs browse the ocean shore turning it into dunes of sand where nothing green can ever grow again. Cut loose from the earth's soul, they insisted on purchase of its soil, and like all orphans they were insatiable. It was their destiny to chew up the world and spit out a horribleness that would destroy all primary peoples.
What would be the natural thing? A man goes to college. He works as he wants to work, he plays as he wants to play, he exercises for the fun of the game, he makes friends where he wants to make them, he is held in by no fear of criticism above, for the class ahead of him has nothing to do with his standing in his own class. Everything he does has the one vital quality: it is spontaneous. That is the flame of youth itself. Now, what really exists?" "... I say our colleges to-day are business colleges-Yale more so, perhaps, because it is more sensitively American. Let's take up any side of our life here. Begin with athletics. What has become of the natural, spontaneous joy of contest? Instead you have one of the most perfectly organized business systems for achieving a required result-success. Football is driving, slavish work; there isn't one man in twenty who gets any real pleasure out of it. Professional baseball is not more rigorously disciplined and driven than our 'amateur' teams. Add the crew and the track. Play, the fun of the thing itself, doesn't exist; and why? Because we have made a business out of it all, and the college is scoured for material, just as drummers are sent out to bring in business. "Take another case. A man has a knack at the banjo or guitar, or has a good voice. What is the spontaneous thing? To meet with other kindred spirits in informal gatherings in one another's rooms or at the fence, according to the whim of the moment. Instead what happens? You have our university musical clubs, thoroughly professional organizations. If you are material, you must get out and begin to work for them-coach with a professional coach, make the Apollo clubs, and, working on, some day in junior year reach the varsity organization and go out on a professional tour. Again an organization conceived on business lines. "The same is true with the competition for our papers: the struggle for existence outside in a business world is not one whit more intense than the struggle to win out in the News or Lit competition. We are like a beef trust, with every by-product organized, down to the last possibility. You come to Yale-what is said to you? 'Be natural, be spontaneous, revel in a certain freedom, enjoy a leisure you'll never get again, browse around, give your imagination a chance, see every one, rub wits with every one, get to know yourself.' "Is that what's said? No. What are you told, instead? 'Here are twenty great machines that need new bolts and wheels. Get out and work. Work harder than the next man, who is going to try to outwork you. And, in order to succeed, work at only one thing. You don't count-everything for the college.' Regan says the colleges don't represent the nation; I say they don't even represent the individual.