Seen Reading is a blog with podcasts of the written entries. The blog is by Julie Wilson, who describes the purpose of Seen Reading on the ‘About’ page:
What is Seen Reading?
1. I see you reading.
2. I guesstimate where you are in the book.
3. I trip on over to the bookstore and make a note of the text.
4. I let my imagination rip.
5. Readers become celebrities.
6. People get giddy and buy more books.
The Seen Reading blog is not only a very intriguing concept, but what is of particular interest is how it makes use of the podcast to transform what is solely a visual/textual dynamic (a person reading book watched by Wilson who in turn writes a blog entry recreating the experience) into a spoken/aural one.
But why do this for a site that is about the visual/textual — ‘seen reading’? The answer may lie in Wilson’s recommendation to listen to the podcast while riding the subway or bus, two of the numerous sites where she indulges in her ‘literary voyeurism.’ The ideal setting for listening to the Seen Reading podcasts, that is, are those very scenes of reading being described in the podcasts. The effect could be quite stimulating: listening to Wilson describing her acts of voyeurism while at the same time engaging in these same acts oneself, perhaps while one of the other people watching readers is Wilson herself, or perhaps wondering if Wilson is watching you listening to her talking about watching someone reading while watching someone reading.
Does Wilson ever imagine herself being seen reading, and imagine what story the watcher may be constructing around what she is reading?
(Thanks to Carolyn Black for bringing Seen Reading to my attention, and who can be heard reading from Lydia Davis’ Break it Down in an installment of the ‘Readers Reading’ feature on Wilson’s blog.)