"Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing."
"For more than 50 years now, we in the United States have been gradually reducing children’s opportunities to play, and the same is true in many other countries. In his book Children at Play: An American History (2007), Howard Chudacoff refers to the first half of the 20th century as the ‘golden age’ of children’s free play. By about 1900, the need for child labour had declined, so children had a good deal of free time. But then, beginning around 1960 or a little before, adults began chipping away at that freedom by increasing the time that children had to spend at schoolwork and, even more significantly, by reducing children’s freedom to play on their own, even when they were out of school and not doing homework. Adult-directed sports for children began to replace ‘pickup’ games; adult-directed classes out of school began to replace hobbies; and parents’ fears led them, ever more, to forbid children from going out to play with other kids, away from home, unsupervised. There are lots of reasons for these changes but the effect, over the decades, has been a continuous and ultimately dramatic decline in children’s opportunities to play and explore in their own chosen ways."
The Last Book | Reinier Gerritsen
A book about books. Their covers and people who read them. During my photographic survey in the subways of Beijing, Paris, London and New York, I found that in the past five years, the number of printed books has steadily dwindled while the number of e-books and tablets doubled each year. Continuing this projection to the coming years, I predict that I can photograph the last book in the spring of 2016.
— Reinier Gerritsen
The world — and the word — is in the process of becoming less and less dependent on paper. Our habits of reading, especially as they occur in the public space, are shifting each day. Photographer Reiner Gerritsen focuses on books and their readers in public buses and subways as a measure of this rapid change.
"The Last Book" is a pretty doom-and-gloom title, but if you read the artist’s statement, it’s not that books are going away — paper’s just getting replaced with e-readers, at least on public transportation.
Which isn’t a bad thing for readers — but certainly a loss for those of us who like to spy on other people’s reading choices…
"If art is made ex nihilo—out of nothing—then reading is done in nihilo, or into nothing. Fiction unfolds through your imagination in interconnected layers of meaning that lift the heavy weight of unyielding facts from your shoulders. It speaks its own private language of endless nuance and inflection. A tale is a reassuringly mortalized, if you will, piece of the oceanic infinity out of which we came, and back into which we will go. That is freedom, and that is joy—and then it is back to the quotidian challenge, to the daily grind, and to the necessity of attaching a specific meaning to what people are thinking and feeling, and to the urgency of trying, for the sake of love or money, to profit from it."
"Stay is a sensitive word. We wear who stayed and who left in our skin forever."