Ten years ago when the Apple iPad was introduced, Sue Halpern wrote an article in the New York Review titled, What the iPad Can’t Do. It was accompanied by this fascinating example of pen and ink annotation from David Foster Wallace.Continue reading “Annotate This!”
It’s been a crazy few weeks. The construction on my new rooms at my daughter’s house forced me to relocate with my dogs. Luckily there was a place offering small suites with kitchenette and dog privileges so I moved in there for about ten days. Although I had internet access and plenty of digital texts on my iPhone and iPad, I had limited tools to keep up on most of my online life, including this website.
I, unfortunately, never accomplished the dream of reading dozens of books while sequestered in that lonely, quite room. I tried watching television and quasi-enjoyed two movies but for the most part the television was turned off and I continued listening to old-time radio mysteries on my iPhone.
I did read some—finished two novels—but mostly just stared at the screen with Sam Spade solving crimes in the background.
Now I’m back to my daughter’s house and for the most part all the loud and messy construction is done. We started unloading boxes and populating the bookshelves in the new office and I now sit at my new built-in desk making this entry for the website on my big computer while Mahler is playing on the Alexa and a very interesting novel (I Hate Martin Amis, et al by Peter Barry) is glowing back at me from my iPad. My jug of Lucky Goat cold-brewed coffee is within easy reach, the puppies are curled up in their small beds on the floor, the sun is shining, and despite my getting older every day, it all feels good.
Unfortunately. the combination of a short month, ten days in purgatory, and old-age failing eyesight is leaving me with a monthly unread list that contains too many fun and interesting titles to pass up. Last night I decided it would be best if I simply rolled over the majority of this month’s reading pool into March. I’m also intending to cut the size of the pool to twenty titles: after all, I seldom read more that eight nowadays and I can always add unscheduled reading if I’m intrigued by an unannounced novel with a juicy title and plenty of bodily fluids (you know, something by Henry James or perhaps Thomas Mann).
But rest assured, I’ve sharpened my magnifying glass, scanned Calibre for hidden gems, and am charging forward with an aggressive reading program … right after I finish this friendly green smoothie my daughter just dropped off for my lunch.
Oh, gone are the years when I stayed up until one o’clock, went to work the next day for 10 or 12 hours, came home, made dinner, played with my kid, and still read as many almost 200 books a year, not counting all the really exciting stuff I had to read for work.
Of course now I have to use a magnifying glass to read, I’m retired but it takes me 10 minutes to get up from my desk and walk into the bathroom, I still make dinner, but my daughter is now a professor at the University … oh, and my reading is just shy of 100 books a year.
I am beginning to worry about that 1001 Books You Must Read … challenge.
But I still make lists and try to focus my reading within a fairly narrow pool of books I have already collected on my bulging bookshelves (or nowadays on my trusty iPad).