Page name: extreme reading [Exported view] [RSS]
2013-11-05 17:30:13
Last author: iippo
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Extreme Reading

A proposal for an alternative experience of text.


I hereby propose a practice of Extreme Reading, underlined below, to be undertaken by any and all members of the creative class, necronauts, or indeed any individual or groups to whom reading is a familiar activity.

The practice of Extreme Reading aims to highlight to its practitioners the experience of reading; not only the experience of the text, but the actual act of reading the text. I propose readers to be aware of themselves during reading, to take an active role in engaging with the text. This is to balance with the common practice among readers of 'getting lost' in the book: the body and mind disappear into the text through emotional connection with the story. While the 'getting lost' -practice is in no way condemnable, I feel it appropriate to propose the alternative that Extreme Reading offers, as a way to balance and enrich reading practices.

Another aim of this proposed practice is to aid people to overcome certain cultural and social taboos, such as the preciousness we feel about books and the emotional connections we have to them as objects. The proposed practice in practice will require its participants to do things outside the sphere of social acceptability but in the safe environment of creative practice - for Extreme Reading is a creative practice.

The suggested practices listed below are activities one can do while reading in order to practice Extreme Reading. The methods are:

1) Copy the text of the entire book
                          a. by hand onto paper
                          b. by typing

2) Read the entire book out loud
                          a. at one go
                          b. in a group

3) Read upside down (that is, holding the book upside down)

4) Read upside down (that is, sitting/standing upside down)

5) Destroy the text immediately after reading it by
                          a. tearing out the pages as you turn them
                          b. covering the line you've just finished with Tipp-Ex
                          c. scribbling over each word with pen or marker as you read them
                          d. doing any of the above to a book you've borrowed from a friend, and then return the book.

6) Reconstruct the text as you read by
                          a. tearing out some of the pages
                          b. covering some of the lines with Tipp-Ex
                          c. scribbling over some of the words with pen or marker
                          d. doing any of the above to a book you've borrowed from a friend, and then return the book.

7) Cut shapes into the pages after reading them

8) Cut shapes into the pages before reading them

9) Burn holes into the pages with a cigarette (if you smoke)

10) Any of the above in public.

11) Read the whole book
                          a. at one go
                          b. at the pace of one page per day (even if the sentence is unfinished)
                          c. at the pace of one word a day

12) Read two or more books at once
                          a. at the pace of one page per day
                          b. at the pace of one word a day
                          c. out loud in a group

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