professornana (professornana) wrote,
professornana
professornana

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The residue of reading

Often the phrase "residue of reading" refers to the information taken away from an efferent reading of a text. Louise Rosenblatt uses this phrase often when referring to efferent reading stances. However, when I heard the phrase recently, out of the Rosenblatt context, I had a different image of that residue of reading, and it related to aesthetic reading as well.

I rarely read a book where there is NOT sow sort of residue. Even a bad book leaves residue (sort of like ring around the bathtub, I guess). Great books levee huge residue. I recall words, phrases, images, and FEELINGS. When we talk to friends about books we love, we share that residue. Sometimes what is left behind is similar. More often than not, the residue shifts depending on the person and what he or she brought TO the text and then took AWAY from the text.

That residue builds up, too. As I am reading one book, I will often recall part of another and make the connection. Good readers make connections between and among books. Ladders evolved from these connections once I started noting them as I read. Once I read a book and every time I saw some residue, I made a note. The book was full of connections by the time I was done reading. Some of my bookstalks read almost like a recipe: take one part FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKENWEILER, add a soupçon of BREADCRUMBS, stir in some Hans Christian Andersen. Drop in a heroine who would rather not be one, a hero who is locked away, an older sister who falls prey to false charms. Carefully fold in some ghosts and monsters being careful not to disturb the bubbling words growing slowly. Let sit.

I think there is something here, folks. How many of you experience the residue of reading?
Tags: reading, transaction
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