Reading, One Library At a Time

images.jpgMany years ago I would travel down to the local library every few days and scan the stacks for any books that caught my eye. This was a leftover habit I shared with my mother back in Southern California. But she was the champ: she would walk into that library with  a stack of books she had just read and would end up walking out of the library with a new stack of books to read.

My mother surprisingly had read most of the well-known classics and in her later years had turned to mysteries and then when those were all gone she took up those big fat historical romances with Fabio on the cover. It’s hard to believe but she would regularly read three of those romances in a single day. So when I suggest that she read a lot, it’s true. My mom didn’t always read books I would be proud to read and she was seldom up for a rousing discussion of the merits of English Literature, but she did read a lot.

I still contend that the secret to reading well (and a lot) is concentration. If you can lock your brain into the text it will fly by and you will have excellent comprehension. If you can’t engage with the book, no amount of pain and anguish is going to help as you struggle through the book, page by page, line by line, word by word. Here let’s pause for a little observation: there are readers who will toss any book out the window if it displeases them even once and there are other readers who will not give up reading unless blood gushes out of their ears and killer tomatoes are knocking on the front door.
Which kind of reader are you?

This last month I have added several reading suggestions to the list. Hopefully some of us will actually get a chance to read a few of these titles:

mcmullet03-01-16 – Doctor Rat — William Kotzwinkle
03-02-16 – Desert Solitaire — Edward Abbey
03-03-16 – When the Killing’s Done: A Novel — T. C. Boyle
03-04-16 – The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World — Michael Pollan
03-05-16 – Evolution Man: Or, How I Ate My Father — Roy Lewis
03-06-16 – Democracy in America — Alexis de Tocqueville
03-07-16 – The Sleep Garden — Jim Krusoe
03-08-16 – Finding Zero — Amir D. Aczel
03-09-16 – Between the Assassinations — Aravind Adiga
03-10-16 – Zinky Boys — Svetlana Alexievich
03-11-16 – The Water Knife — Paolo Bacigalupi
03-12-16 – Michael Strogoff; or The Courier of the Czar — Jules Verne
03-13-16 – Between the World and MeJul — Ta-Nehisi Coates
03-14-16 – Three-Body Problem — Cixin Liu
03-15-16 – Ghost World — Daniel Clowes
03-17-16 – A School For Fools — Sasha Sokolov
03-18-16 – The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity — Steven Strogatz
03-19-16 – The Other — Tom Tryon
03-20-16 – S. — J. J. Abrams
03-21-16 – Fat City — Leonard Gardner
03-22-16 – On Boxing — Joyce Carol Oates
03-23-16 – It Is Solved By Walking — Catherine Banks
03-24-16 – Dirty Snow — Georges Simenon
03-25-16 – Better Livimg Through Criticism — A. O. Scott
03-26-16 – Gun — Fuminori Nakamura
03-27-16 – Satin Island — Tom McCarthy
03-28-16 – Winter — Christopher Nicholson
03-29-16 – Black Deutschland — Darryl Pinckney
03-30-16 – The Road To Little Dribbling — Bill Bryson
03-31-16 – What Belongs to You — Garth Greenwell.

3 thoughts on “Reading, One Library At a Time

  1. I have changed the type of reader I am. I began life as a die-hard finisher. Now, with the prospect of so much less time, I’m of the bah-humbug, I’m not wasting any more time on this s**t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a little more scattershot: when I was younger I defenistrated many books, mostly required reading at school and even some classics (I remember using Karamazov as the proverbial door-stop). But I discovered that there was a great deal of satisfaction and learning in many books which I found very difficult to finish reading. I think back to Othello: assigned for an over-the-vacation read, I hated it, but after struggling page by page I finally finished and we probably are all of the opinion that Othello was a valuable piece of literature (which I have read several times since).

      Now I tend not to start a book I feel unsure about. I still bounce books off the wall but mostly only popular fiction … although with the advent of digital readers I traded in my curve ball for a decisive click on the delete button.

      Liked by 1 person

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