Mea culpa! I’m unfashionably late to this month’s Literary Blog Hop, brought to everyone who managed to be on time by The Blue Bookcase. What can I say? I had a migraine. (Also I only just heard about it today.)
Last week’s prompt: How do you find time to read, what’s your reading style and where do you think reading literature should rank in society’s priorities? In true eighth-grade reluctant reader tradition, I will now answer the first part of this prompt in as few words as possible and pretend the second half does not exist. (No, not really.)
How do you find time to read?
I dunno. Magic?
Srsly: I don’t find time to read. I read, and I find time for everything else.
It’s actually easier for me to find time to read now than it was in the past. For at least ten years, I’ve been reading at a rate of about 1000 pages – ca. four books – per week. That’s four books on top of whatever I had to read for school/work/whatever.
These days, I actually have a lot more time to get those 1000ish pages in. I’ve retired from competitive figure skating and I don’t coach, so I’m only spending about 5 hours a week at the rink now instead of 25. I’m not taking 21 credits of undergraduate courses or 16 credits of law school courses every semester – in fact, right now I’m not taking any classes at all. I’m not pulling 70-hour workweeks at a notorious pressure cooker of a law firm. For the first time since high school, my days are pretty much structured around writing (I do this for a living) and reading (which I also sometimes do for a living).
…Actually, now that I think about it, I’m a little ashamed that my reading pace hasn’t increased in recent years. Law school had something to do with this; I read more closely than I once did, which slows me down a bit. The migraines I’ve had since childhood have also gotten bad enough that I can no longer read when I have one, which doesn’t help either. And I got engaged and moved into an apartment I actually have to clean once in a while etc. etc.
What’s your reading style?
Start at the beginning and go till I reach the end, then stop. ;) If I’m reading a galley, which I frequently am, I’ll dog-ear every page that I think might be relevant to my review of said galley. I do not, however, write in galleys. I do write in cheap (often thrifted or Paperback Swap-ped) editions of books I particularly love, which I acquire for the purpose of destroying them. Any other book I would not dream of dog-earing, writing in, or in some cases, even letting it see the light of day. I take my collecting pretty seriously. ;)
Since I’m usually reading more than one book at a time, I’ll often switch among them – a chapter here, a chapter there, etc. Right now, I’m reading a biography of Bob Dylan, Pamela Keogh’s Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? (shush), and all the Billy Collins poetry I could find in my local library. (I imagine there was champagne and cheering after hours. ”SOMEONE CHECKED OUT POETRY!!”)
My sartorial style is “Audrey Hepburn, Rock Star.” Yes, it’s exactly what you’re picturing in your head right now.
Where do you think reading literature should rank in society’s priorities?
Somewhere lower than it ranks in my priorities, but higher than it ranks in the priorities of the society in which I currently live (Midwestern Protestant lower-middle-class). If everyone read as voraciously as I do, lots of very important things – like sewer cleaning and saving heart attack patients – would not get done at all or would get done very poorly. Not Good.
But, like the folks at The Blue Bookshelf, I’d really like to stop feeling like this Onion article (“Area Eccentric Reads Entire Book”) was written about me. :P