Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Reading, Gadgetry and Music

I read a great book recently called 'The Rights of the Reader', by Daniel Pennac-all about how children learn to read, love reading and gradually become disaffected from it by the way adults treat them as readers, and turn reading into a constant test instead of the pleasurable and choice driven activity it can be. The latter part of the book is about how students can be brought back to reading by certain teaching methods and a change of thinking on the part of the teacher/parent, and about individuals who the author has known who are great examples of this. It really made me think, and I would recommend it to parents and teachers -and readers! Here is an extract from the book about reading aloud:-

"When someone reads out loud, they lay themselves wide open. If they don't know what they are reading-if they don't understand the words - it's excruciating, and you can hear it. If they refuse to inhabit what they'reading, the words are just dead letters, and you can smell it. If they saturate the text with their own personality, the author pulls back, it becomes a circus trick, and you can see it. The person who reads out loud is utterly exposed to the eyes of those who are listening. If they're really reading, if they draw on all their knowledge while making sure they don't get carried away, if they are as sympathetic to the audience as they are to the work of the author, if they can make us hear the imperative to write while waking our deepest need to understand, then the book will open wide, and the crowd who thought they were excluded will rush in after the reader."

And then, there is the Kindle! Here is Proust, read by the Kindle. (I am not claiming to have read Proust-but I have bought it and would like to. I was inspired by Daniel Pennac to try some of the more daunting works of literature and this was the one that came to mind. (It was that, 'Clarissa', or 'War and Peace') I am not sure how much of this I could listen to, though I am impressed it is available.

Very blurry video with tv in the background-oh dear!

It is showing the text enlarging function on the Kindle-most useful!

Another old new toy which I haven't shared on here. You may well already know about these but if you don't I will tell you! It is called a PoGo and is by polaroid. It attaches to a camera via the usb lead, and prints out little sticky backed prints. They are about 3 inches by 2 inches. You can never quite tell how the colours will come out-a bit like polaroid pictures. I love it and have used it loads in my journal. I am planning to take it on holiday and use it for postcards, and have started using it in my book journal to print a photo of the front cover of the book.

The music part refers to my new new toy-a xylophone. It was a very reasonable price on ebay and free delivery. I have a guitar-which I can't play and don't have the time to learn. I want a piano-but again can't play and have no room. I have four recorders but I don't think my neighbours would thank me for playing them. I can play tunes by ear, love singing (at work and generally around the house.) I am not a musician but making music makes me happy. (Not performing it to others-apart from the kids-and you! I need to practice!) The good thing about the xylophone is that it is fairly quiet and I can store it easily as it has its own little case. The first tune has many mistakes. The second is Cassie's song-Cassie, Cassie, Cassie pussycat (simple lyrics!)


Ned Trifle said...

Sarah - you've already done Clarissa, or have you forgotten yr Combined Arts degree already! Definietly no need to do it again - unless of course you didn't read it properly the first time...?

rebecca said...

dear high tech girlfriend,
you are so much FUN!!!

thanks for the comment today. every voice counts.

Anonymous said...

I am exhausted reading of all your accomplishments! I have given up reading 'serious' books - now I just read for pleasure ...... especially as my main reading time of the day is after breakfast, when I couldn't cope with anything too heavy!

Lynne said...

What an informative post.
I tried learning the guitar in my teens, whatever I learnt, is long forgotten. Did Cassie appreciate her song?

Janine said...

It all sounds wonderful to me! My husband bought me a Kindle and I love it. I have Macular Degeneration (in remission so far) and it really allows me to read once again. Gone are the days when I could read a book a week, it now takes me months to get through them, but at least I can read! I love that the font can be adjusted or that I can listen to a book! Your other gadgets sound like fun!

KindredSpirit said...

Kindles - boooooo I hate them!
There's nothing like smelling that newly printed page!

Anonymous said...

I love to read.....books! I just can't get into these ereaders. I dowloaded Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc to my iPhone. I downloaded a few free books and just couldn't do it. I love going to the library and looking around. I guess I'll always be old fashioned when it comes to reading.