Promoting Reading…On the Internet? The CFTAR Community.

February 1, 2010

While stalking some of my favorite academics on the internet today I stumbled upon an interesting network of blogs.  The flagship site appears to be the Campaign for the American Reader, though I originally arrived there through one dedicated to authors discussing what they’ve been reading recently. There is a lot that could be said about a community that advocates reading and seeks fellowship on the internet, usually thought to be a medium at odds with the written word. I’ll leave it up to those more ensconced in cultural and media studies to do the heavy lifting on that one.

Two of the websites linked to this community are devoted to a game I only recently learned about. You open a book to a certain page (one version has it as page 69, the other as page 99) and you simply read. I’ve seen this go around Facebook as well, the idea being that you post whatever you find on that page as your status for the day. Page 99 is apparently inspired by the following quote which graces its masthead: “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” –Ford Madox Ford

Try reaching for the book nearest you.  Not the coolest one or the most interesting, but whatever is physically closest.  Open to 69 or 99 and read.  If you’re so inclined, share with us what you found.  What I ended up with was rather pleasant and quite fitting, but I won’t share its contents in public because it’s of a sensitive nature.  But please, let us know what you find and if if “the whole” is in fact “revealed to you.”

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5 Responses to “Promoting Reading…On the Internet? The CFTAR Community.”


  1. This was depressing. Page 99 of “How to Read and Why” just makes me realize how little I know about pre-20th century literature. Boo you, Haverstam.

    • Rabbi Dr. Prof. Jurgen Haverstam, DHL Says:

      Does this mean that you’ll have to collaborate with someone when you publish your series on “Non-fiction Books from Fictional Movies”? Given what you’re reading now maybe it would best to start with Professor Lawrence Wetherhold’s “You Can’t Read”.


  2. “When you see a truck bearing down on you, by all means jump out of the way. But spend some time in meditation, too. Learning to deal with discomfort is the only way you’ll be ready to handle the truck you didn’t see.”

  3. theciceronian Says:

    (Selections) Birth rates in the premodern demographic regimes of circum Mediterranean countries were generally high in January and February and have declined to minima in June and July, before they began to ascend again in September and October.

  4. Josh Says:

    Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,
    Pease porridge in the pot nine days old.
    Some like it hot, some like it cold,
    Some like it in the pot nine days old.
    (page 69)


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