I have a love for reading so I enjoy seeing how other cultures and periods in history have approached the subject as well. My biography that I’ve been reading through this winter is about a guy named Cicero who was arguably Rome’s greatest politician. He lived during the time of Julius Caesar and their lives intertwined on quite a few occasions. The book referenced what reading was like in those days and I was a bit shocked by the difference from our standards.
“Readers had to work hard. Characters took one form only, without differentiation into capital and lowercase letters. There were no spaces between words or punctuation, and texts were unparagraphed.”
Translation = you really had to be disciplined to be a reader in those days! Not only did you have to read from a papyrus roll but you didn’t have the luxury of basic formatting to help you make sense out of the words.
I wonder if you were able to show them how much easier reading has become today how that conversation would go? Can you imagine showing them a book on a Kindle or iPad? They’d be even more shocked to learn that the ease of reading doesn’t really increase the likelihood for most people to actually do it though.
Here is Brian Regan talking about what reading has become today. I think we’ve changed things a bit.
Do these two perspectives encourage you to take advantage of the ease of reading that we definitely take for granted? I hope so!