Footprints to Zanzibar

Reading and Writing in Ancient Times and Today

Thoughts come to mind last night and this morning, on books, reading, writing.

Read recently that in ancient times almost all reading was done aloud.  I think it was probably done more slowly too.  It was a group activity, communal.  Non-isolating.  Nice.  I imagine that the reading part of things felt group-ey and cozy, and then, afterward, the individual’s thought processes, going on alone and in privacy in the person’s head, the cogitations ABOUT what had been read, felt complementary and a fruitful offshoot from the communal reading experience.  Verbal processors would also have felt free to discuss together with others the readings that had taken place, even down to quoting and dissecting exact phrases and words.

Looking at the timeline in the front of my Bible this morning I see that papyrus to make paper and ink for writing were discovered by the Egyptians as long ago as 2500 B.C.  The first libraries then appeared!  I love a good library.  Have one on my Kindle, these days…


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