A Box of New Books Arrived, and I'm Actually Going to Read Them
I used to read pages and pages of books every single day. At one time, my birthdays consisted of me getting a pile of books over breakfast and then disappearing for the next week to devour them all, and for the first almost 30 years of my life, this held true. Over the last few years, though? Not so much.
I am just guessing here, but I'm fairly certain that many of you are hiding the same secret shame I am. You used to read a lot, and you still love books, but if you said that you read one whole book from beginning to end in the last six months, you'd be lying to look more literate. I know I would be.
It's not like I don't read a lot. I spend most of my day reading online. I read emails and blog posts and news reports and Twitter and Facebook, and by the time I get to Tina Fey's Bossypants, which I bought in an airport last May and am still working on — oh my sweet jeebus, the shame, the shame — I only have enough energy to read two pages before I fall asleep. Of course, I forget what those two pages contained by the next time I pick it up, so I read them again, plus two more, fall asleep, and repeat.
I've decided that enough is enough. I love books. I love the smell of them. I love the texture of different book covers. I love it when the publishing company includes a note about the font in the back of the book. I love that I know that if you order books from England, the covers sometimes fall off during a Saskatchewan winter because the glue can't handle the climate. I love the geometry and heft of them in my bag. I love taking notes on favourite phrases.
My plan is to set aside some time every day to read, even if it is only for 20 minutes. I am going to put my butt in a comfy chair, open up a book, and walk into the world it contains, because my brain needs the stretch of long reads again. I need to sit with a coherent narrative over days rather than minutes. I need to relearn the art of doing one thing.
So, I crowdsourced a small reading list on Twitter to get me started, and these are some of the books my Twitter people suggested, and which arrived today:
- David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest,
- Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City,
- Tim Winton's Dirt Music, and
- Alan W. Watts' The Wisdom of Insecurity.
And now, here I go. Of course, I have to decide which one to start with. Eenie meenie minie moe.