Twenty Ways to Read in a Room

I decided to tailor this particular blog post to my room, (excluding my computer because with the aid of that instrument I felt that the possibilities were endless.) During a quick sweep of my room, here are the first twenty pieces of writing I found: Lists, a quote on a mug, entire seasons of TV shows (comedy, drama), a newsletter, a newspaper, a banner, a poster, two calendars, a magnet from Michigan’s Bicentennial office, course books, journals, essays, fiction, an address on a package, food packaging, notebooks full of facts, letters, a book of poems, instruction manuals to various appliances, tags on the laundry I just folded. At twenty, I had to stop. The list would have gotten too overwhelming. I have picked  the three most unconventional to analyze further.

1. A quote on a mug: My high school history teacher gave us all mugs on the last day of class and mine is sitting on my desk. I would place this in the genre of keepsake or mementos. Its purpose is to capture a memory well enough to be sold. The author picked a catchy, relevant quote to entice an audience who, for whatever reason, wanted to remember his or her history class. The visual, linguistic and spatial modes are employed.


2. Tags on clothing. Every piece of clothing has a tag telling the owner how to wash it. Sometimes the instructions are quite simple, and sometimes they’re quite complicated. The author has to research the type of clothing and also recognize what type of people (rich old ladies, a poor college student) are most likely to buy the clothing. Based on all of this, the author uses the linguistic mode to come up with the simplest set of instructions possible: Wash Cold.

3. Magnet. Michigan’s two hundred year anniversary is fast approaching, and I was given the magnet in a class I’m taking about the history of the university. It makes use of the spatial, visual, and linguistic modes. Maize, blue and white are the predominant colors, and words that capture the splendor of and promote the university are removable and easily rearranged within the parameter of a surrounding frame. The audience is anyone with ties to the university, anyone considering the university and anyone who wants to know more about the university. It is a promotional tool, not only for the university, but also for the bicentennial office.


Julia Smith

I am, like everyone else, a list of identities. I am a college student, a writer, a reader, a soccer fan, a worrier, both independent and dependent, a friend, a sister, organized until lack of time prevails, a leader, a follower, fond of sleep and bad at getting it, an amateur artist, a thinker, a collector and just your overall observer of the world we live in.

2 thoughts to “Twenty Ways to Read in a Room”

  1. Julia,
    This was a really cool way of looking at this! From someone who used a computer, you’re definitely right that it was overwhelming with all of the possibilities. Also that was a really interesting/in-depth look at the clothing tags, and how they really do have an audience. As someone who has shrunken many an article of clothing, I can definitely attest to the simple but complicated nature of their writing.


  2. Julia,
    I like your creativity! It’s cool to think about all the little, obscure things in our life that involve writing. Now I am sitting in my room looking for words… I never realized that we are all pretty much drowning in the all the time. This was a neat direction to take the blog post prompt. Way 2 go chica!

    xoxo JULIA II

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