Reading Is Fun(damental) Dept.

I have the bad habit of seeking comfort where I know I shouldn't. Viz.: re-reading a book, or just dipping back into one I've read many times to read here and there, instead of starting a new one that I know will be worth the while. Life being unpredictably short, it does you no favors to cheat yourself out of the chance to experience something new. Ebert once called that sort of behavior a crime against one's curiosity, and how many criminals of that kind are minted every day? 

Purchase on AmazonHence, I find, one of the major disadvantages with having most of your stuff in storage until you can find a house to put them in: you think that'll give you an incentive to seek out new reading experiences — that is, by being forced to pick up a new book instead of root around in storage for one of the old ones (or even one of the old, unread ones). No such dice. Instead, I ended up re-reading the same two or three books I'd brought with me. Finally I got real sick of this, went out and bought Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle — which I'd never read cover to cover until now — and used that as the combo-breaker. It seems to have done the trick. (More about the book itself later, of course, but the short version is that Vonnegut is one of our most misunderstood writers, perhaps deliberately so.)

Starting any new reading habit is tough, for the same reason starting any new habit is tough. No end of excuses not to begin the new habit present themselves. The familiar, even if it's bad for you, takes precedence over the useful new, for no other reason than it is familiar. This hurts all the worse when you're someone who prides himself on being forward-thinking — it becomes a genuine blow to one's own pride to leave a 150-page book unread for months simply because it's new, and therefore involves effort and instead of promising comfort.

Purchase on AmazonSmall wonder my last trip to the store involved the new translation of Doctor Zhivago and Philip K. Dick's Exegesis (finally!). If forcing myself to smash through those doesn't get the reading fire re-ignited in me for keeps, nothing will.

Tags: readers reading writers writing

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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2014/03/15 10:00.

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