Similarities between living and reading

Books, and writing in general, are structured in a hierarchy of logical units (sentences, paragraphs, pages, sections, chapters) that (1) serve as reference points, (2) represent cohesive chunks of information we can absorb, and (3) help us to keep track of progress. When reading, we typically like to read these units in one shot – uninterruptedly. Although preferences vary, we are uneasy to interrupt reading in the middle of a sentence, a paragraph, or a chapter. Some people even like reading a book cover to cover without long pauses. What is your preference? I guess you’re thinking “it depends”, and I agree. One thing for sure is that while reading a unit (page, chapter) you keep checking how much is left to get to the next unit. You also measure how big is the next unit before you start reading it.

We could say that our lives, as books, have sentences, paragraphs, pages and chapters…everyone’s life is a non-fictional story book. These paragraphs, pages and chapters in our lives are sized in terms of their duration or significance, and represent events, episodes, stages, or any other name you might like.  Arguably, in reading nobody likes long chapters; and maybe, we don’t like long chapters (e.g., an employment or relationship) in life either. Again, I guess you’re thinking “it depends”, and I agree.

I guess my question is: is there any connection between our reading patterns and how we approach commitments in life?


Melvin Pérez-Cedano
Rochester, NY

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