Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Reading the Right Amount
I have decided to read less. Not less, really, but slower, so, inevitably, this does mean fewer books. The impetus for my first Resolution since 1978 (when I gave up self-improvement) is a . . . book: The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry.
If you don't know Stephen Fry, first of all you aren't English, but second of all he's an actor, writer, director, poet, comedian and probably other stuff.
I thought his book would help me learn to like poetry, but it turns out to be a book on how to write poetry. That's all right; you usually like things better if you know the rules.
Fry starts by insisting the you read s-l-o-w-l-y. This is a formidable obstacle to poetry reading as far as I am concerned. I don't have time to read slowly. I don't read fast, but I read as fast as I can. There are so many books in the world and I'm having trouble getting to them all.
Reading all the books that one sees puts great pressure on a person, like counting the number of books read per year -- which, you will remember I've stopped doing. Well, you'll remember if you used to read my book blog.
But Fry has given me the idea that I'm doing it wrong. What's the point of reading if you're missing stuff because you're in a rush to get to the next book?
So, read less.
This will be harder than not counting. Part of counting included reviewing and that was work. I can always give up work.
I may keep you posted.