Book me in

Johnny Depp in Vanity Fair

The library was my favourite place growing up, and I’d regularly have dreams about finding books there that didn’t exist, and then waking up just as I opened them. Me and my little brother used to play a game when we came home from the library: “First-you-read-it-then-give-it-to-me”.  I worked there in high school, and used my librarian passwords to flout the computer system, which was only supposed to issue a max of 30 books out at a time.  Like that was enough! And (embarassingly, because this is super rude), I always hid away with a book at big family gatherings.

It’s really sad to me, then,  that I could barely pay attention to this LA Times article, The Lost Art of Reading. It’s well written, about a topic that interests me,  and under 2000 words long.  But still, every paragraph break, I had to consciously hold myself back from flicking to another open tab in my browser. This is, of course, exactly what the author is talking about:

What I’m struggling with is the encroachment of the buzz, the sense that there is something out there that merits my attention, when in fact it’s mostly just a series of disconnected riffs and fragments that add up to the anxiety of the age.

I’ve really gotten awful.  I mean, I still read, but it takes me weeks to get through a book, and sometimes it’s days between me putting it down and picking it up again.  I lose track of key players, especially when reading about different places/times when the names are slightly unfamiliar.

Also, for some reason lately, I feel like turning reading into a little ritual. Lighting candles, or getting all dressed up for it in lace and lipstick.  I know, books don’t demand that kind of preparation, just time and attention. Time to switch off!

We found another worldImage source: weheartit

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November 15, 2009. Uncategorized.

5 Comments

  1. Jack Slater replied:

    Interesting. Just don’t use a computer unless you have some specific intention. Like reading that article. And ditch facebook. A waste of time.

    There’s hope for you yet kiddo.

  2. S replied:

    I concur with you hun but so dissent from the comment above. Ditch facebook? Pfft. As if that would fix all your woes. How else will you virtually stalk men and efficently communicate & share pics with me when I’m in Oslo? And no, email is so not the answer.

  3. swingsandskateboards replied:

    Oh Jack, but I have this little thing called an RSS reader that PING! updates whenever any of the 70 odd blogs I read update, and the OCD part of me doesn’t like falling behind or skipping. So when intention = catch up on my blogz, and then they link to things I HAVE to read…

    But you’re right. I need an egg timer or something.

  4. swingsandskateboards replied:

    Don’t worry S, I’m not planning on leaving The Lair of the Time-Sucking Beast anytime soon. And I don’t virtually stalk anyone, least of all MEN – what is this MAN you speak of?

    (I like boys. But not this month!)

  5. Jack Slater replied:

    Don’t complain if you’re unwilling to do anything about it.

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