I will always be a lover of silence.
How can you not be?
I know, I know – I type this knowing of many extroverts that abhor silence in general, and solitude in particular – recharging themselves in
But I will never truly understand any of that.
More than four or five people feels like a draining chaos and confusion.
I want the occasional one-on-one interaction, but most of my days would look like this:
It’s cold outside. There is a fire going. And a pot of coffee is about to finish brewing. My laptop is open and plugged in on the couch. A stack of unread books is on the coffee table. And until the kids get home from school, and I devote my time completely to them, the house is empty.
The psychology of it all probably goes back to the only child thing.
Did a love of reading lead to enjoying silence?
Or did a love of silence lead me to reading?
In explaining why he wrote his book In Pursuit of Silence, George Prochnik offers a telling statement: “I’ve always been a lover of silence, and this love is bound up with my passion for books. The writer Stefan Zweig once defined a book as a ‘handful of silence that assuages torment and unrest.’ For years before I began writing about the subject, I’d been feeling that silence was a diminishing natural resource. I wanted to understand whether this was more than a subjective impression. If so, why had the world become louder, and what could be done to reinstate silence as a value in our culture?” For Prochnik, then, the constancy of the sheer racket in our culture is a threat centrally, if not primarily, to books and reading. Zweig’s “handful of silence” slips through our hands when our ears are too frequently and too harshly assaulted.
-Alan Jacobs, The Pleasures Of Reading In An Age Of Distraction