This Friday you’ll find Field Office Fellow Chris Fischbach in the FlatPak House reading a book. You’re welcome to join him if you like, in fact he’s highly encouraging it. For a couple of hours at a time between August 12th and 17th, Chris will be converting the FlatPak House into a public experiment in intentional reading.
When we first met Chris, Publisher at Coffee House Press, he told us that he was having trouble making time for personal, pleasurable, non-work related reading. In the same way that people are willing to pay for for an application that blocks their access to the internet for up to 8 hours at a time, Chris said that he’d actually pay to go somewhere, unplug, and just read. Remarkably, that place doesn’t exist. (And don’t say libraries! They’re full of computers, wifi signals, and people doing all kinds of things in addition to reading.) And with that, Reading Room MPLS was born.
Some questions that Chris hopes to answer through this experiment:
- In our busy lives, will book lovers actually make time, intentionally, to go to a designated place solely to read a book, for an extended period of time, unplugged?
- Does reading (a solitary act) somehow become more attractive, more meaningful when surrounded by others (a crowd) who also have taken time to intentionally read?
- By putting a frame around the act of reading, will participants somehow gain a new appreciation for their time, and take Reading Room on the road?
As noted on the Reading Room MPLS bookmark (that you’ll receive if you attend), Kurt Vonnegut said that “Literature is the only art form in which the audience performs the score.” Starting this Friday, Chris Fischbach is setting out to see what will happen when a room full of people start performing, with intention, together.
Reading Room MPLS hours:
- Friday, August 12th – 6 to 8 pm
- Saturday, August 13th – 2 to 4 pm
- Sunday, August 14th – 2 to 4 pm
- Tuesday, August 16th – 12 to 2 pm
- Wednesday, August 17th – 3 to 5 pm
Reading Room MPLS is taking place at the Walker Art Center’s FlatPak House in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.