Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Book Glutton

I checked out Book Glutton after hearing about this website on NPR. The idea of scribbling collaboratively on the margins of a book we are reading is interesting - and the website is designed beautifully to do this. Once the novelty has worn off, I wonder if this may not prove to a distraction from reading itself. Forming your impressions, arriving at conclusions independently and even imagining the atomsphere can become incredibly hard with a running commentary to contend with.

Where this may become really useful might be in understanding works that are not easily accessible. With collective commentary to help the less sophisticated readers, even one such as myself may be able to take a stab at James Joyce's Ulysesses. The same idea is transferrable to the reading of epics be it that of Gilgamesh or Ram - where understanding and appreciation is completely dependent on awareness of history and culture.

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