Underwater Reading

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that: “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.”

So maybe all good reading is swimming under water and not coming up for air until the very last page?



(photo credits: click on photos for links back to original source)

(quotation source: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Letters to his daughter)

76 thoughts on “Underwater Reading

  1. Hmmm…. maybe that is why in fiction I prefer to read the end first, the last page or the last few paragraphs of a book before I take the l plunge and buy it. I have been much criticized by friends for this habit, but in fact the ending tells me more than the beginning. And just give them time, an e-reader for underwater is probably in the making. Anyway I prefer paper books for reading in the depths of a forest or in the middle of a field of tall grass.

    • My mother used to read the end of books first too. That’s funny that you do the same! I like the idea of reading in a forest or a field, certainly more convenient than in swimming pool or ocean anyway 🙂

      • That is interesting! It is more a question of temperament than of age… I’ve done it all my long life.

        PS: Ti ho mandato a parte la poesia del dieci agosto.

  2. Oh my god!! That is indeed crazy!! But I don’t think you can enjoy the book doing this, as you have to keep breaking to come up and take a breath. The continuity will be lost. But this definitely is a must try!! 🙂

  3. That is one way to take metaphors really well 😀
    Infact, I wonder, what would the world be like if all the metaphors that we use in english language are taken on face value ? 🙂 Would be quite interesting …

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog and the like on my post. I love to read! I actually prefer books over an e-reader. I knew a friend that read the ending first,although I couldn’t imagine doing that. 🙂

    • I know, I couldn’t do that either, but I know some people prefer to do that so they can enjoy the beauty of the language more and not get so caught up in the ‘what happens next’…. it would drive me crazy though! Have really been enjoying following your blog 🙂

      • Me too!! It would drive me crazy if I already knew what was going to happen. Love the suspense! Thank you for following my blog and so happy you enjoy your visits. Have a super day. 🙂 Renee

      • Oh how incredibly cool is that. I wish I could, read underwater that is. Great photos, nice connection with Fitzgerald’s words. There are books where I do find myself holding my breath! Nice Post, really enjoy this one, Penny

        • I agree, Penny; there are some books where I find myself holding my breath too. Sometimes it forces me to rush through the book to fast, just dying to find out what happens in the end, knowing I should take my time but not being able to! Thanks for the kind words.

  5. Thank you for the like on my posts…your ‘like’ push me to keep writing…and writing under water is a very interesting experience I already did…as a diving writer…let me say you that I want to follow your posts on this blog…your blog is very special and a firm ground for literature critics and thinking cause reading is what legitimates the writing…even if loud reading, I guess a good talking is a writing-reading somehow…I remember G. Deleuze and C. Parnet book ‘what is a talking and what’s the purpose’ on my awkward english translation…and I don’t know why I write free and easier in english…I have some writings in deutsch idiom, but is more difficult for me to write in deutsch…and also invite you to read Cecília Meireles ‘Cânticos’ and ‘Romanceiro da Inconfidência’ as well as Clarice Lispector short stories (this is if you don’t have rad these leading brazilian writers)…also I want to mention my first published book (on 2001) where I do a citation of a very liked for me writer that is Adélia Prado…one recent book I’ve read is ‘I want my mother’ (Eu quero minha mãe’)…in my book the citation in portughese is ‘Santo Antonio, santo amado, poderoso intercessor, livrai-me do medo errado….’…thank you very much and congratulations for your so interesting and important blog on reading…once more, reading is the action that legitimates writing…al least, no matter what is reading, no matter what is writing. Sincerely, Walter

  6. I will take a dip soon but Its getting cold in the water 😛

    I could never read under water, just like reading on the buss, get sick from not watching out the window :/

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