Bicycle Diaries: Why books? or the six habits of the passionate book-lover
Why books? or the six habits of the passionate book-lover
I just found a great, albeit conservative article, on learning to love books by Byron Borger at Comment. It inspired me to modify his five habits of the passionate book-lover. My additions are in orange. I hope he won't take offense especially since I included this jpeg of what is obviously a VERY passionate book-lover. And I hope you, my readers, won't take offense either. I am feeling rather mischievous today%)
Make a schedule. Don't postpone your reading to the end of the day when you are most tired. Serious reading takes some serious commitments. Use the library or another favorite, quiet spot. Of course, they don't let you drink or smoke in libraries. And there's no opportunity to stop reading for awhile to talk with the regulars.
Carry a book with you almost all the time. You can dip in during 'down time' or during unexpected free time. You needn't be anti-social or a show-off about your bookwormish habits. Still, you'd be surprised how much reading you can do on the run. All true except that a good number of folks who see you reading will interupt you to ask what the book is about. If your reading is ecclectic be prepared to get a blank look in response to your answer, "20th Century Eskimo Dictators."
Talk to people you trust about what they most enjoy and what they are reading. Talk about books with people you admire. Find a book-buying mentor and a bookseller who cares about you and your literacy and intellectual development. Read book reviews from a variety of sources. The New York Review of Booksis a good start since they cover everything imaginable with articles that are so much more than mere reviews. And avoid book clubs like the plague. I've found that the members have rarely read the book they're discussing. They'd prefer to gossip about the other members who missed the meeting or bitch about the great unwashed who just don't get the life of the mind.
Read in an interdisciplinary way. Wisely chosen novels can obviously enhance your non-fiction course work in pleasurable ways. Some good books come through serendipity and whim, but it may be helpful to have a plan, at least a list. Egads, don't you have to make enough lists for work? Just read a damn book and when you're done, read another damn book.
Stretch yourself occasionally by reading the more serious books. Perhaps, explore a new and unexpected topic for a year, reading several similar books or books by the same author. But don't read exclusively arcane and heavy stuff. Light fare and sweets can enhance any diet. Seriously, I don't give a damn what you read. I read Da Vinci Code: hated it. I read Harry Potter: loved it. I do give a damn about people who bitch about the poor reading tastes of everyone else. For g-d's sake, don't become a book snob.
6. All you really need to do to prove your passion is
The views and opinions expressed herein are not attributable to girlfriends and wives (old or new) to family, friends and colleagues (current or estranged), and to employers (pains-in-the-ass or otherwise).