A few years ago I wrote a couple of articles called ‘Heroes of Active Reading’, both of which were recently re-published (here and here). In retrospect, many of my heroes have turned out to be a little less heroic than I gave them credit for – others more so. In the following posts I shall attempt, therefore, to cut these so-called heroes into a more sensible (and, one hopes truthful) shape.
I start with the South-Hungarian Over-80s Water-Polo Book Club. These noble souls, you will recall, chose (several years ago) to combine the curious sport of water-polo with the worthy practise of underwater Active Reading. Alas: no longer. Josef Volvidik, club secretary (and proud owner of the all-important laminator) has since died – and with him the spirit of the group. Underwater reading no longer takes place in any shape or form. The laminator was left to Volvidik’s nephew Jan, who donated it to a local school.
Matthias Blomquist (another exemplary Active Reader) has also thrown in the towel. After reading the entire works of Proust whilst hand-gliding, he outlined his intention to re-read the series ‘eating a madeleine after every three sentences and balancing on an inflatable beach ball’. He started this, in earnest, early this year, but pulled out half way through The Guermantes Way, complaining of ‘boredom, and a sore bottom’. Shame on you Monsieur…
On a more positive note, Serbian athelete Alexi Minchevic continues to run marathons whilst reading. She has now broken her nose eighteen times.