Thursday, January 14, 2010

a pledge to read the printed word


More than a year ago, I started to notice that I was reading fewer and fewer books. The New Yorkers lay gathering dust on the coffee table. My newfound love for blogsblogsblogs, fancy iphone apps and twitter were/are interfering with my capacity to focus on words printed on paper. Words you can't click on. Words that don't link to other words. Words that are meant to be read in sequence.

Inspired by adfreeblog.org and buyhandmade.org, I decided a new kind of pledge was in order. A pledge to read the printed word. I emailed cevd, who I knew to be a fan of books as well as my kind of minimalist graphic designer, and she quickly got on board, creating several versions of a little banner. Then I proceeded to sit on my ass for 14 months.

But. Finally. With a little help from H-town, our wee project is launched.

Take the pledge and add a banner to your page. Because tweeting should not take the place of reading.

WARNING: Please do not attempt to tweet while reading a book. To avoid distraction, the librarian recommends that you place your iphone face down. In the other room.

Photo by Peonies and Polaroids

49 comments:

  1. i will absolutely be taking this pledge!

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  2. i took the pledge. i added the thingy to my blog. (p.s. i did this all by myself AND started this 'labeling' thing due to your advice). AND reading is my favorite thing in the wide world.

    and? this further convinces me that you ARE a badass.

    thanks.

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  3. since i'm a journalist who works at a newspaper, and newspapers apparently will be obsolete in a few years, i am absolutely taking this pledge. plus, i read actual books without that stupid e-reader thingie. thanks for spreading the word.

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  4. LOVE it! I really really enjoy reading... I try to use the blogs, etc as a supplement to slow down my book addiction a bit :)

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  5. Books are as real as narwhals.

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  6. The narwhal can read over my shoulder if she wants.

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  7. i will join this pledge. because i love reading real books. not so much magazines or newspapers. but books yes. and libraries.

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  8. I'm in! I LOVE to read, I just finished Stephen King's new book, "Under the Dome" and it was amazing. I blog about what I read too, which helps me keep track of what I like and don't like.

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  9. GRR! now my problem is that i can't decide which button i love most. i've tried them all.

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  10. It's possible we need one that says "Suck it, Kindle." You know, for the edgy crowd.

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  11. oh, and @Giovanna, REPRESENT. (i'm a magazine editor.)

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  12. radness. so, i couldn't decide which one i want... i would totally take "suck it kindle".
    xo

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  13. Ahem. Since I'm checking this on my new iThingy I can't add the button yet (I used to be a Luddite) but I will do asap. Books (real ones) rule. And if I ever got a kindle my mom would kill me. She is a librarian after all...

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  14. Lurve. As soon as my new enormous stack of books arrive, I will twitter a picture. I have a passionate love affair with the written days (emergent these days).

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  15. woooo! reading the paper on the bus is one of my favorite parts of the day. long live the printed word.

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  16. I love this... working with vintage books all day long makes me appreciate the form so much... I could never get a kindle for that reason - part of the joy is the page turning, the smell of the book, etc. I took the pledge!

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  17. Huzzah. And please do make a "suck it, kindle" badge. mk

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  18. I've was just thinking about how long it takes me to get through a book these days because I spend too much time reading blogs. As much as I love them I feel like I'm dumbing down a little. I'm making the pledge, thanks!

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  19. All over this. Can I suggest "Kindle is for chumps"?

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  20. f kindles! the smell of books is irreplaceable.

    this is the best. i pledge to read print too!

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  21. Break my heart. I have been dying for a Kindle. But I have books galore too. Cannot beat the musty smell of an old book.

    Does anyone know how to put one of these banner things on wordpress css? Someone help a webpage writing gimped sister out.

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  22. done.
    i've read a book over christmas and now started the next one. over the last couple of years i haven't read any books.
    i will try to get better.

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  23. Yes. I work in publishing and every time senior management talk about the new digital age and how important it is that we adapt to e-readers I just want to run away. Yes to books, yes to magazines, yes to lazy days with the weekend papers.

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  24. As a dork who spent three hours in a used bookstore yesterday....I lovah you.

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  25. Thank you so much for this. As a paper bookmark manufacturer, there's nothing I support more!
    www.inmybook.com

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  26. perfect timing! Just got a new library card! Great idea, thanks :)

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  27. i love it and need to take this pledge myself!

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  28. Love it. Banner added, challenge taken.

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  29. Awesome and thank you.

    I do an "In My Library" reoccurring post with book recs and would love it if people would return the favor! Always looking for good books to check out.

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  30. So down for this. Couldn't agree more!

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  31. You two kick ass. I try to update what I'm reading (on paper) on my blog. I'm an English teacher, so of course I read. Unfortunately, my reading is more for my class than for myself. I pledge to read the printed word for my own pleasure and not simply for my job.

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  32. ESB - love you, love your blog, but am a little confused by this project. I'm a librarian and obsessive reader, but you will pry my Stanza iphone app from my cold dead hands. How else can I carry Bronte, Austen, Marcus Aurelius, Kelly Link, & about 50 others with me at all times? Plus I live in China right now, so can't run down to the Strand for a few hours of browsing obscure & OOP...but Project Gutenberg gets me everything I need. I totally support reading books instead of blogs (at least some of the time) but am not really getting the paper/ink connection. Help?

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  33. I pledge to read real books on paper... those lovely old books on my shelf, that 100 years later still transport me to faraway lands... those stories no matter when they were published, that touch our hearts because we are human... those books written by such writers that the words are more than poetry... YES I WILL KEEP READING REAL, PAPER BOOKS!

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  34. Can we make another badge saying "read and finish more books." Because that's what I need right now. I'm constantly in the process of reading 5 books. Which is why I'm excited about my new kindle (sorry, yes, I'm excited I can carry all of my current books with me, to read on whim) but why I haven't used my kindle yet (see: 5 in-process books.) In my defense, it's usually only one fiction book at a time and 4 learn-a-lot books. I don't think I could handle multiple works of quality fiction all at once.

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  35. Love the pledge, and the pledge to spend less of my free time on Twitter ect.. but I have to admit I also love my Kindle. I was a staunch anti Kindle girl 'till I got one for Christmas, and now I love that I can schlep a bunch of books all at once no problem. My 3 book cases are overflowing, and while the library is a good option, my local one doesn't always have what I want. I am still all about the paper book, and continue to use the library and buy books...so I am choosing to include the Kindle in my personal pledge to read more...

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  36. you guys are too cute.

    of course, I will make the pledge as soon as i fix (or get a new) computer.

    (all written word lately)

    sigh.

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  37. as i told your partner, i LOVE you guys for this. thank you x a million.

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  38. Pledged.

    I have real worries about the consequences of prolonged Twitter use for my attention span. I spend half an hour on Twitter then try to read a book, and I can hear the gears in my mind grinding.

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  39. word to that! Although I'm now 3 months into to my turning 30 resolution to read more. Yet to crack one book. I'm blaming wedding planning!

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  40. Reading something that is not on a screen and it's not college-related is one of my new year resolution. Thank you for the cute banner!

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  41. I'm in! FAB idea. You are a goddess!

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  42. Button added, reading list started - great campaign!

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