Friday, February 28, 2014

'The Allure of Reading'

PQ has a nice piece up "On the Allure of Reading" and the difficulty of getting to everything that he wants to read. I totally relate -- I have started listening to audiobooks on my commute to work more often because it increases the total number of books I am able to consume.

When I got out of college, more than 30 years ago, I was swept with an enormous feeling of relief, because I could choose which books I wanted to read in my spare time, as opposed to having to read the books my college professors wanted me to read.

Each time I choose which book to read next, I have to decide between a book that relates to this blog and one that has no connection. There's always a little bit of guilt when I'm not doing my "homework."


PQ said...

Thanks for sharing, Tom.

It's funny, despite a pretty meager readership (if one exists at all) I get that same feeling of "homework" guilt---always concerned that the stuff I read should contribute toward my blogs somehow.

And, gosh, I'd love to participate in the Illuminatus! group except for the very issue I've described in the post. Buried under so many books (and magazines, journals, web articles) and still reading my way out.

michael said...

Tom and PQ: I'm soooo right there with you.

We have to OWN it; our reading quandaries are of our own making, and aren't we lucky that something like this qualifies as a personal conundrum? We can all think of far, far worse.

My blog being the opposite of what we were supposed to do - find a niche - I've been posting less and less and reading more and more. Often I'll think, "I should have reviewed that book on my blog..." but then it's four books ago and not fresh in mind. I could go back and page through it and work out some review, but I'm too lazy. And hardly anyone reads it anyway.

Reading now:
Twelve Moons, 1979 poetry from Mary Oliver
Belmont, poetry by Stephen Burt
3 books on film noir
You Will Die: The Burden of modern Taboos, by Robert Arthur and a book that I think RAW would've liked.

I've been cultivating a way to bracket time so I feel like whatever book I'm reading is the only one I'm reading, but it's tough. I'll keep on with Vico and Machiavelli, but I may revert to the "mindfulness" reading of choosing just one of the above and reading it all the way through before moving onto the next one.

Is this in the new DSM-V?

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

@Michael: "Hardly anyone reads it anyway."

Yeah, but everyone who reads it goes out and starts their own blog. :)