Monday, May 25, 2009

It's time to discuss the reading process

While I was eating lunch today, I was read a bit of the book I've been reading but then got distracted as I began to think about my reading process & how it hasn't changed much in 15 years. For instance, there are certain places where I prefer to read: The Golden Egg on Washtenaw or the Fleetwood while eating breakfast, work while on my breaks, on the can while shitting (I know this is pretty common), in bed before I fall asleep (also probably pretty common), & outside while drinking a beer. If I had to pick 1 place though, it'd be the diners while breakfast. I can't think of many books I've read over the years that didn't join me for breakfast @ a diner. I think this started w/ Moby Dick @ Big Boys on Washtenaw in June of 1997.

Along w/ the reading locations, I also need a beverage & a pen. The bevvy can change based on the location, but only a handful of the books I've read remain un-underlined/written in. In fact, I've heard people suggest that they should write marginalia too, but I wish I was better @ not writing in the books. I could probably count the books I've read since high school that remained unscathed: Bunker Man, Treasure Island, Captain Blood, The Outlander books, a few Star Wars short story collections, & Sharpe's Rifles. Underlining means that I'm basically reading many things twice so the process takes a long time. The things I don't write in go much faster but I'm always afraid I may need to teach it some day so the marginalia continues.

While I'm an underliner, I'm also a page counter. I'm always more concerned w/ what I'm going to read next than w/ what I'm reading @ the moment. I have 190 pages to go in The Time Traveler's Wife & all I can think about is that I'll get to start something new soon. That's Ok though because I've been on a mission to read books I've owned for years but never read in an attempt to catch up & stop buying books for a while. It seems to be going pretty well, but I haven't been able to make it very far into Martin Amis's The Information yet. I must have started it 5 times over the years, but I just don't like it. What other books have I not finished, you ask? Wonderboys, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Don Quixote, & War & Peace. I keep meaning to get back to Wonderboys & Don Quixote though... maybe this summer.

Other books I plan to read this summer:
The Island of the Day Before: Umberto Eco
Baudolino: Umberto Eco
Japanese by Spring: Ishmael Reed
If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things: Jon McGreggor
The Invention of Morel: Adolfo Bioy Casares*
Pierre: Herman Melville
Tom Sawayer: Mark Twain*
Three Bags Full: Leonie Swann
The Cardboard Universe: Christopher Miller
The Case of the Missing Servant: Tarquin Hall
The Namesake: Jhumpa Lahiri
The Leatherstocking Tales: James Fenimore Cooper*
* I don't own these yet so they're lower on the priorities list

No comments: