The French are known for their culture.
So you would think that the French Culture Minister would be more clued up than anyone.
Especially on Patrick Modiano, the French novelist who just won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Except in an interview recently on French TV, she admitted she couldn’t name a single one of his books.
She told the presenter, “I haven’t had any time to read for the past two years. I read a lot of notes, a lot of legislative texts, news stories… but I read very little”.
She didn’t have time to read because she was too busy reading.
Clearly there are two types of reading.
There’s urgent reading, the sort which is pressing, which invades our lives and is only important in the short term. Things like e-mails, hashtags, news reports, notes, reminders, ads on the tube.
Then there’s non-urgent reading. Things like novels, poetry and philosophy. It doesn’t invade our lives and it doesn’t require our immediate attention, but in the long term, it’s more important.
It’s the sort of reading that people are proud of themselves for committing to.
In the communications industry, we have to keep up with what’s happening with the world. In a way, we’re all Culture Ministers.
But this includes reading books, not just tweets and headlines.
Let’s not forget to read because we’re too busy reading.
Michael Bodansky, Account Executive, Ogilvy Public Relations