Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reading Communally

Some time in April, my RSS feed that imports this blog to Facebook stopped working. So, each day, I went in and did the update manually. In a way, I didn't mind, since it forced me to look at Facebook once a day. I don't want to lose too much time to Facebook, but I enjoy seeing what my friends are up to.

Yesterday, Facebook started to tell me that my blog url isn't valid. I find this interesting, because this seems to be the week where more and more of my Facebook friends are commenting back and forth on various posts I've written and photos that have been posted. Some of them who don't even know each other are talking to each other. Cool.

I've needed this interaction as I've been reading Anna Karenina. It's been great to post comments on Facebook and blog postings and to hear what other people think. It kind of reminds me of grad school.

One of the things that I miss most about grad school is that experience of a group of people reading the same book at the same time and taking it very seriously. I haven't had that experience much since I left grad school. Even in book clubs, I'm often the only one reading (the others have given up or haven't started or won't be reading this book).

I find it interesting how we can talk to people we've known in real time and people we know primarily through their blog postings and people we may not know at all. Apparently, if I bought a Kindle, I could have this experience more often. I only just now came across this Times article about the Kindle feature that lets you see what other people have underlined. That would intrigue me but only so far. Now, if we could write notes (like some of the e-textbooks I've seen let you do) and share them, that would be cool.

One big communal reading group--that's my utopian vision of the future.

And for those of you keeping track, I'm about 150 pages from the end of Anna Karenina. I'm going to finish today so that I can read more modern books during the rest of my vacation. I've written a poem in which I envision Anna Karenina and Jane Eyre meeting for coffee. And yesterday, while I waited for McDonald's to finish the dinner order that I would take to Vacation Bible School children, I read the book--surely there's a poem there.


Dale said...

Mixed feelings about AK, but I've always thought that the way Karenin moves from a genuine insight and spiritual rising-above-it into garden variety stupid sanctimony is one of the very scariest things in fiction. God save us from admiring friends!

Elizabeth said...

If you want to see a brilliant depiction of Karenin's transformation, watch the 1978 BBC production starring Nicola Padgett and Eric Porter. Chilling.