Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Reading

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

I’ve always thought of myself as someone who doesn’t like to read. Reading was something I did in English class, and then only when truly necessary.

But, lately I’ve been more interested in books. And I have some weird gaps in my class schedule, so I got a book from the library, and … well, I read it. And I loved it.

The first book I read was Galveston, a  sort of country noir thriller by a new author, Nic Pizzolatto. It’s gritty, beautiful, sad, dark, fun, violent, sexy, and above all, the prose is wonderfully descriptive and evocative.  The story was very good, but it did have a few flaws. But I could read that beautiful prose all day long.

Now I’m reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and I’m loving it, too. It’s very different, of course, but it’s also very well-written, thought-provoking, a little frightening, and hilarious. I’m also amazed at how ahead of its time it was. For a book written in the 1930s, it hardly seems to have aged at all.

10 Responses to “Reading”

  1. Myles/ rattrappress Says:

    Like you, I’ve decided to make an effort to read more. Galveston sounds interesting but I’ll likely read Brave New World in the near future. Keep the book recommendations coming.

  2. RANTWICK Says:

    I would think it quite rare to find somebody who writes as well as you do who doesn’t consider themselves a reader. I always thought avid readers made at least passing writers… anyway, you write very well and I’m not just saying that to stroke your blogging ego which is something me and my stupid buddies are into, apparently. Brave New World is a trip, for sure. Enjoy.

  3. Apertome Says:

    I think part of it for me is, growing up, very few of the books I had to read in school appealed to me. And then at some point later, I tried to read some things on my own, but they were too dry and academic, so I lost interest. But now I’m finding that there are some kinds of books I do enjoy reading. It just took a long time for me to figure that out.

  4. Steve A Says:

    I used to buy a lot of books. Now I avoid buying them and I instead keep traffic up at libraries so that the city sees the library as heavily used.

    If y’all are looking for a fictional bike book – “Age of the Bicycle” by Mirriam Webster is about a Texas town in which all the cars disappear. The book isn’t really very good, so I recommend getting it via interlibrary loan rather than by purchase. RTP could, of course, borrow my copy. Still, it’s an interesting plot premise and it’s loaded with bikes.

  5. John Romeo Alpha Says:

    The yearly VNSA used book sale is coming up. If I had any sense when it comes to books, I would be giving them away instead of buying more. I am considering cycling to the sale more or less to compel myself to buy less than my normal 50 pounds of books. Or, alternatively, I am struggling with how to schlep 50 pounds of books back home on my bike all that way.

  6. Bill Lambert Says:

    I believe you may have discovered your love of reading from the influence of a fantastic librarian!

  7. Steve B Says:

    I agree with Rantwick about readers….your blog is well written. I even think that with more reading, one’s writing is even better. My reading has decreased by 90% in the last 15 years (post child and internet), which I believe has negatively affected my writing. When I briefly pick up the reading, my confidence and my writing seem to improve. I’ll look forward to your future blogging along with more book reviews.

  8. Sarah Says:

    Steve B. – What you said about the Internet decreasing your reading is interesting. What is the Web if not a giant place to read stuff (and play Pacman? And look at porn?) As a librarian, I’ve done a little bit of reading about why “boys don’t read.” But the thing is that boys *do* read. They read websites. And comic books. And technical manuals, and blogs about cycling, and all sorts of other things, many of which are non-fiction. Usually, when the media gets all up in arms about boys not reading, they mean “boys aren’t reading literary fiction.” My point being – don’t discredit Internet reading.

    Bill – Thanks for the plug. 😉

  9. Steve B Says:

    Hi Sarah: You’re right about other types of reading and it is not as if you don’t read when you’re not reading books. It is obviously not black and white. If you’re not reading a book, nothing else counts…..which I’ve heard from some media, too. I hope my boy reads books, but if he’s really into comics…that will work, too.

    But, for me, reading a book is a more concentrated, intense experience….no skimming, disruptions, or multi-tasking (i.e. 5 web pages open, but never including Pacman ;-)). Also, I simply read more pages at a time. The amount of that concentrated reading I was able to do in my previous life seemed to give me a larger and more confident vocabulary for my writing. I guess I was speaking relatively….I think I’m a better writer when I read a lot, but I’m not entirely useless with my limited reading :-).

    Note 1: Are you still writing your blog and, if so, where can I find it. I enjoyed your writing and attitude.
    Note 2: I’m still in awe of your husband’s mileage last year.

  10. John Says:

    Reading takes us on many adventures. I have been doing it pretty steadily for years.

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