Friday, January 25, 2013

Why do we love reading some books?

Why do we love reading some books, but not the others?

Inspired by mathematician Roger Penrose's depiction of Platonic Mathematical World, Mental World, and Physical World, I would like to present my theory.

From the book: Roger Penrose, The Road to Reality, Vintage Books, 2005.

I begin by breaking the problem into several worlds.

The world the author perceives, the world he describes, and the world we perceive.

The discrepancies between these worlds are inevitable; they would have cues on their own, as well as hindrances for our view.

Regardless of the author’s intentions, we begin to build our own world from page one. We continue to fit our perception on the world we have been constructing, not on the world that the author saw or described. Similar to divergence in mathematics we diverge from intended world-view.

So the secret to good authorship must be to relieve both the author and the reader from a burden, the burden of mapping author's world.

Rather than pushing an answer down the throat of the reader, the author should pose a question, such that the world he perceives disappears, and the world his reader perceives gradually unfolds.


1. Roger Penrose, The Road to Reality, Vintage Books, 2005