Britain's first book blogger (November 2000)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Mind the gap

What is it that makes a book more readable when one is reading on a train?

Why does the design of a book seem to coincide with one’s experience reading the words?

And why does a sentence, printed in a perfectly-designed book, read on a train, seem to presage some merciful future, always only ever arriving?

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:14 pm

    What book were you reading?? Do tell.

    ReplyDelete
  2. To answer your question: Because when riding on a train you are in between places, in transition, and therefore open to speculation of silent, fictional adventures. The slower you read, the more you luxuriate in this situation of being nowhere but going somewhere. Any sentence can match this mood . . . A book is a ideally like a trainride. Ted Berrigan wrote a poem called Trainride that accomplishes this. The movie "TransEurope Express" by Alain Robbe Grillet also comes to mind--as an equivocation of these factors. It is the sense of an existential journey, with the content supplied to you personally, but indifferently, by the sentences as they go, and you go . . . Great things await you, when you arrive at an unknown destination.

    ReplyDelete

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