What are you reading right now?: Rebeca Martinez

Rebeca Martinez is a history major and a member of the class of 2018. 

What are you reading right now?

I Will Bear Witness, A Diary of the Nazi Years by Victor KlempererI am currently reading I Will Bear Witness, A Diary of the Nazi Years by Victor Klemperer, a collection of diary entries of a German Jew during the rise of the Nazi party through their 12-year reign. This composition of vignettes constructs a perspective from the memories of an individual who was oppressed and continuously living in fear each and every day.

Compared to Anne Frank’s Diary, another remarkable archive that survived the terrible Holocaust, Nazi Regime, and World War 2 events, Victor Klemperer’s own diary is another remarkable piece of information that helps historians and individuals all around the world better understand how the German citizens felt during the Second World War and also to create a better understanding of mid 20th century events.

If it’s a book, are you reading it on a device or between hard covers? Which do you prefer and why? 

I one hundred percent always choose to read books in paper back or hard cover, really anything in print. If it were up to me, I would prefer to read the entries straight from their archive. The actual text or story adds a different dimension of authenticity to the reading experience.

I believe that all good literature is meant to be read in print because there is something profound about being able to smell the pages and connect with the words on a page. Especially in today’s day in age, where the technological revolution has overwhelmed us with constant emails and text messages, a paper back book allows you to set yourself apart from the world and enter another dimension, another story, whether of a fictional or non-fictional character. As opposed to reading a book on a device where messages can be seen the moment they are received, a book can allow the strong to put their devices on silent or in their bedside drawer for a couple of hours so they can delve into the beauty of storytelling.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” -George R.R. Martin


About iprh

The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was established in 1997 to promote interdisciplinary study in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.
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