Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday Thoughts...

There is nothing quite so intimate as the space between a page and the reader’s eyes. 

Thinking and pondering about books today I enjoyed the image this quote created in my mind's eye.

Stopping to observe somebody reading is such an intimate thing. Watching their intensity, their concentration, their total absorption. Seeing them grin or giggle or chortle a little bit at a humourous piece of writing.  Wondering what the book is about, what they think about it (it if you have read it yourself).

As a reader the space between our eyes and a page is also a space which connects us to another world. Within that short distance words are reaching out to us, entering our minds and understandings, and changing us, adding to us. We are absorbing learning, interpreting feelings and reacting which are all pretty personal things.

That space between eyes and pages feels very private and any interruption can seem like a violation of sorts, some breaking of a code or rule, some intrusion across an unseen boundary.

I must admit that I feel at one with my books when I am reading - that somehow they are an extension of me and that we are joined invisibly across that space.

Altho I guess its not just books is it? That same intensity shows on many people's faces as they observe their phones for signs of their own existence...

I can't credit this photo sorry. It accompanied the words on tumblr and I couldn't find a better one to illustrate this thought...


  1. Interesting quote. And here's a post with a little different angle on a reader... the relationship of writer to reader. A few wonderful paintings of the subject, too. Don't know if you know Terri's blog, one of my favorites.

    1. Thank you so much for this link Valerianna - I went a'wandering for quite some time. Those photos of people reading captured it all for me.

  2. ... I feel at one with my books when I'm setting them on fire... (had to say it!)

  3. An engaging quote Fiona and I love what you have said about the eyespace between book and reader. When one is truly engrossed in a book, there is nothing that will tear their gaze from the page. I remember in the past asking the children to find food for themselves as I was too engaged in a book to attend to them ..... Am sure this is commonplace. Hope so anyway .........! I had a wander around the link Valerie sent you and there are some beautiful ideas and quotes in there, and Ronnie's comment just made me laugh. When I think of the things we do to books as artists and not just as readers .......

    1. Total absorption is a side-effect of a good book isn't it Susan? I love that you got the children to feed themselves - totally understandable! I really enjoyed Valerianna's link - lots of lovely words and images. Go well.

  4. What a blessing it is that we can lose ourselves in a book for hours on end. Thinking about the quote and finding it very interesting. Each person brings something different to whatever book we are reading(different images in our minds eye)and we take away different impressions depending on our own experiences. I followed Valerianna's link and Jane Yolen's poem in the comments says it all....
    "So when I read your book, do not expect
    I will read it as you wrote it.
    I read it bent over with the weight of my life
    my eyes focused on the past I want to remember
    and the parts I am longing to forget".

    1. So true Robyn - it is a one of the best gifts in a day I think. That link was wonderful wasn't it - and those words so true. Go well.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.