Tag Archives: reading

Making time

Not since my teen years and early twenties, when high school and college left plenty of time for reading, have I been able to knock off a book a day. This NYT profile of Nina Sankovitch, who has undertaken to read a book for every day of the year, makes it clear she enjoys certain advantages that might not be shared by others in a different income bracket or socioeconomic stratum. And there’s no question that with only 24 hours in each day, and certain obligations that cannot be put aside, reading a book a day may be a goal out of reach for many people (though this here feller is making a pretty good go of it).

But the article serves as a necessary reminder that a great deal of time gets sucked away through laziness and inertia, and if Sankovitch’s example leads people to reassess their priorities for the day, more power to her.

What’s true for reading is true for writing as well. My personal coming-to-Gesthemane realization came while watching a 60 Minutes profile of P.D. James, who said she finally got on track as a writer when she realized that her life’s circumstances weren’t going to give her time for writing unless she made some conscious changes — get up an hour earlier, for example, or cut back on television viewing. When your life flashes before your eyes, you want to see you did something a little more real with your time than keep up with every episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.

As a survey of her reading blog makes clear, Sankovitch isn’t just coasting through single genres or fast-food books. She’s seeking out an interesting mix with some pretty demanding items. And the blog posts show she is thinking as she reads. All of which makes her blog a happy discovery.

Tagged , , , ,

Tome sweet tome

john Lanchester likes the Library of America as much as I do, specially the physical particulars: the way the books are perfectly shaped to hold, the elegant look, the useful ribbon bound into each copy. But he has a problem: once he buys a volume, he has trouble getting himself to read it.

Ummmm . . . whatever. If anything, I work my copies too hard — the three Melville volumes and the terrific one-volume Flannery O’Connor collection are looking a little worn out. But even beat-up LoA books are pretty classy looking things.   

Tagged ,