Avi WordCraft blog

The privacy of reading

There is no argument that we live in a world of digital communication. Commerce, day to day activities, professional communication, personal communication, even-for many –the stories we read, the cinema we watch, and instruction and learning we receive—all by way of technology. You can think of more, I am sure. I am writing this on a computer. You will read it on a computer. On it goes …

At the same time we are daily informed about hacking, information theft, being spied upon, and other forms of intrusion in our private lives—or what used to be private. That is to say, much of our—what used to be private worlds—is now open to other eyes, other interests.

reading by lamplight

It is thus worth remembering that when you read a book, the communication between you and the author—is private and will remain private. No one knows what you are thinking, experiencing, feeling, unless you tell them.

Well yes, these days, no doubt there is a digital record of the book you bought or borrowed. Order a book about baking pies, and Amazon will tell you about five pie-making books you can buy. How did they know you liked to bake pies?

BUT no one will know which pie you baked, and how much you enjoyed it. No more will they know what you thought about that bestseller, or obscure book you read, late at night in your reading chair. That is for you and you alone unless you share it with another person.

Reading. Know it for what it is, a very special privacy.

Treasure it.