Tag Archives: Reading

Reading can be incredibly sexy

George R. R. Martin, author of the “Game of Thrones” series, wrote: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.”

I am not entirely sure why, but at some point within the last couple of generations, reading has gone out of style and is no longer viewed as cool hobby.

In all fairness, every once in a while, someone will secretly admit to being a bibliophile; however, the bulk of young people today only read when it is required, which is a shame because there is appealing than having a book in hand. Classic literature gathers dust on library shelves because people do not want to read and I just do not understand why. Furthermore, when someone actually picks up a book, it seems that it is always a popular, mostly pornographic, novel that they loaded onto their Kindle for free.

Maybe I find this so confusing because I have an undying desire to discuss what I have read until I am able to get all of my pent up feelings out, and to actually have someone understand it. There is nothing I find more attractive in a guy than him being well read. If only guys like this were easier to find. It’s not just about knowing a good story or two, or even being able to understand why half of my paycheck goes to Powell’s Books, it is about what reading can say about a person.

A person that reads is often patient, which is a much appreciated virtue.

In the age of technology, people are used to instant gratification and most well written novels will not deliver that. Gratification only comes to readers after carefully reading hundreds of pages, an act in itself that should be gratifying. Nobody should have to justify their hobbies, but there is something about a guy whose only passion lies in “pwning noobs,” that is ragingly unattractive.

On the other hand, a guy that can fit in a chapter or two of Kurt Vonnegut during their day, between gaining XP points, is definitely a guy that is worth leveling up with. Reading should not be a rarity, but rather an expected characteristic. In the days before television, it seems that everyone that could read, read.

Book clubs were not just an excuse for middle aged mothers to get day-drunk on wine. Over the years, the majority of people have lost the appreciation for words, which is another reason why when someone is enthralled in a literary journey, that they are nearly irresistible. So, for those of us that are bibliophile-philes, we must troll bookstores in search of hotties and occasionally make obscure references to our favorite George Orwell novel, until we find someone that also thinks reading is sexy.

Paige Jurgensen / Columnist

Alyssa Townsend can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com.

Oregon poet “talks nerdy” during reading

Award-winning poet Matthew Dickman tells the audience his memories of how he fell in love with the genre Sept. 19 in the Austin Reading Room at the Nicholson Library. Joel Ray/ Photo editor

Oregon native and award-winning poet Matthew Dickman held a poetry reading Sept. 19 in the Austin Reading Room in Nicholson Library.

The reading, which was free and open to the public, attracted a broad audience from students to staff. Dickman read some selected poems from his first poetry book “All-American Poem,” and his new books that will come out in Fall 2012.

Before the reading, Professor Lex Runciman from the English department started the introduction of the poet with “All-American Poem.” He discussed the uncommon wideness of the book size and its font, which, according to Runciman, symbolized a bigger vision. He finished the introduction by praising Dickman’s observation and told the audience to “start a poem with any
observation.”

Dickman, who went to the podium right after the introduction in grey sweatshirt, surprised the listeners with his opening sentence—“How so f***ing sweet!” His casual attire and humor indicated the atmosphere of that night. He read the poems one by one, sometimes commenting on what inspired the poem or who they were dedicated to. The wittiness coming from the poem or the poet himself kept the audience bursting out in laughter. For the second to last poem, he let the audience choose between a poem about Bridge or about his imagination of his absent father being in Russia. The latter was unanimously chosen. He ended the reading with a poem about what heaven might be like.

During the Q-and-A session, Dickman inspired the audience with his unique insights. He said that poetry is not like any non-fiction genre “as metaphors and similes do not exist in the physical world.” He expressed his love for poems by saying that he “would have to fall in love with other outlets” to not write poems anymore, as it was his “way to understand the world.” He gave his opinions on poetry education in high school through his memories of how he first fell in love with the genre. He said that he “would like the high schools to teach more modern poets such as Marie Howe, Frank O’Hara and Bob Kaufman, so students can be engaged more easily and prepare for the classics.” He had no particular interest in poems until he started reading modern poems—his high school dream girl’s favorite kind.

The reading was sponsored by the English department and the library. The next reading will be held by Thor Hansen, an author and biologist Oct. 10 in the Austin Reading Room.

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Cassie Wong/Staff writer

Cassie Wong can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

Readings offer look into Oregon winemaking

Susan Sokol Blosser points out how her political opponent’s low-blow tactics are actually helping to sell her book “At Home in the Vineyard,” which she read excerpts from in a winemaking talk with fellow writer Brian Doyle on Oct. 21 in Nicholson Library. Megan Myer/Online editor

Two authors provided a behind-the-scenes look at local winemaking as part of the “Readings at the Nick” series Oct. 21 in Nicholson Library.
Winemaker Susan Sokol Blosser read from her memoir “At Home in the Vineyard” and was followed by readings by author Brian Doyle.
Sokol Blosser, co-founder of Sokol Blosser Winery, is widely hailed as a pioneer of the wine industry in Yamhill County. “At Home in the Vineyard” explores Sokol Blosser’s personal and business accomplishments in the industry.
“My story should give hope to all budding entrepreneurs,” Sokol Blosser said. The odds seemed stacked against her in 1971, when she planted Sokol Blosser Winery’s first vines with no business or agriculture training and in an area with no wine industry.
“The fact that we are still here in business, that the second generation is now running the show, that we are distributed internationally … [it] shows you that miracles can happen,” Sokol Blosser, a Stanford University graduate, said. “And it proves that you can do anything with a liberal arts education.”
When prompted by an audience member, she explained that protesting activities at Sokol Blosser Winery went so far as trespassing in a move she called “below the belt.” People protested because they accused her of hiring illegal immigrants, which Sokol Blosser admits may have happened without her knowledge.
Sokol Blosser is also running as a candidate in the Oregon House of Representatives District 24 race.
Sokol Blosser joked that she was “happy to be at a literary event and not a campaigning event.” Sokol Blosser is also a familiar face to the campus as a subject featured in the “Bringing Vines to the Valley” exhibit currently displayed in the library.
“[This reading] goes hand-in-hand with the exhibit,” said Library Director Susan Barnes Whyte.
Sokol Blosser’s readings touched on topics such as sustainability in agriculture, the role of the International Pinot Noir Celebration in growing the Oregon wine industry, the birth of her winery and how she “came to love the vineyard.”
“[Working in the vineyard] gave me a sense of oneness with the land and a fulfillment I never imagined,” Sokol Blosser said.
On sustainability, Sokol Blosser said she gained “a sense of the interconnectedness of everything” and integrated into her business an emphasis on what she calls a triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.
Following Sokol Blosser, Doyle, author of nine books and editor of Portland Magazine at University of Portland, read various pieces of his work, including passages from his book “The Grail.”
“The Grail” follows his story of a year spent at Lange Winery in Dundee, Ore., where he pinned down the nuances of creating the perfect pinot noir.
Doyle also read from his new novel “Mink River,” which was published this month.
Doyle’s readings ranged from comedic, such as in his “rules for the bathroom” as told to his young sons, to touching, eliciting tears from speaker and audience members alike, as in his account of the bittersweet moment of a parent cutting the apron strings and sending his child off to college.
“It seems like I’m not a writer any more; I’m a listener,” Doyle said. “I wander around listening to stories.”
The result of his listening is an eclectic assortment of literary odds and ends, expressed in his reading, which include teaching the audience to curse in Gaelic, recounting his experience of getting glasses and seeing the world clearly for the first time and the story of a former homicide detective who became a father of triplets.

Gabi Nygaard/Staff reporter
Gabi Nygaard can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.