July 16, 2017
Books. I love to read. And although my Kindle can contain books and allow me to read, the feel of a book with a back, the pages actually turning, the ability to see how far I’ve read and how much is left, a real book is my favorite. Yes, my Kindle announces that I am 60% done, but it’s like a watch with no dial: I lose the sense of volume with a device.
It’s seductive to see a book on the counter or shelf, knowing I’m saving it for when I have a large chunk of time to give to it. And I do mean seductive in the sense that I sternly make myself do my work first and reward myself with a book when I’ve completed my list. I tell myself to get those chores done quickly because then I can read and deserve to read. Postponing pleasure is something a book is good for because if I don’t get to it because of some activity that interrupts, the book is patiently waiting. It’s not like a concert that I have to attend at the time the tickets dictate. A book is there when I am ready for it. This week it’s Wealth, Power and Politics by T Sewell.
If I find a part too bloody, too dirty, too shocking, too painful or too poorly written, I can skip to later when things are better so I can avoid the impact of something I self-censor. Yes, the author meant me to read that part, but I don’t have to linger over something not appropriate for the person I am. I respect my time enough not to want to spend it on literature without value to me.
I try to be adventurous. I read all kinds of fiction from fantasy to mystery to humor to history to just plain strange. I recently read an author’s speculation that the “Great Pyramid” is actually a giant power generator. However, despite all his measurements and arguments, I don’t really believe it. We don’t have to absorb what we read. And yes, I have occasionally peeked at the last page to see if I think it’s worth continuing to the end when I am in a place of lessened interest.
I suppose that with enough time to spend, I could wear out my eyes with reading, but I do have a life outside books. If books are like dessert, I don’t have time to gorge on books too much. What would be too much? Well, if reality became difficult to see clearly. If I lost a sense of what was fiction and what was real, I’d be in trouble. I’m hoping the real life I live is with me enough to prevent me from losing myself in the stacks of the library out there and never coming out. I’m not an addicted. I can stop whenever I want. Yes, I’ll just finish reading this book. I’ll stop tomorrow—or the next day. PMA