One of the more exemplary benefits of working is that one could afford to purchase as many books as his economic wisdom could afford. When I say wisdom, I mean practicality. I understand it sounds crude to put in a budget “books” but one must always take into account the greater scheme of things: finances, occasional generosity, health, and yes, even utilities. Thankfully, I’ve been met with wonderful support from my family, offering to purchase a few titles off my list. I still have a few books I hope to read: at least one title by Dostoevsky, and perhaps a collection of prized pieces from the Palanca’s or even the New Yorker.
My resolution to read at least six to seven books in a year no longer appears far-fetched. The greatest difficulty however, posed to man who hopes to make a life with words, is time. The modern, working man has too little of it. And when he finds himself some of it, he is either too weary or too sleepy to open the pages of his book. Especially for a man like me, who is convinced that his health has been all the more thrust into the limelight of priorities, the inviting bed at home seduces me to sleep, and rest my mind, body, and soul. The physical afflictions often seem to outweigh the intellectual appetite.
But I’ve indeed possessed a new found confidence as well, to insist I finish my reading. The only other problem is how I read. Isn’t it so difficult to find the proper posture and position to read, especially if like me, you read, and reread sentences, pages, chunks of prose which heighten the senses, and which require another thorough breakdown: first the quiet passages, then to read it out loud, and lastly, to make mental notes? I read so scrupulously, always minding how the author has arranged his or her words, how he or she has divided the emotions, or united the characters. And of course, the intimidation! Can I read Dostoevsky with sense? Can I bother to flip through the pages? The doubts which crawl makes reading a unique experience which requires a deeper, and almost spiritual outlook.
So will I be crucified if I find myself transfixed with Austen, or Dickens, or Franzen? Surely not. I must be well aware of the repercussions of what it takes to read, to be in love with the words, the world the author has created. This is the price one pays to rekindle such a divine activity. This is also the joyful sorrow of a reborn reader bewitched.
- The top 10 books people claim to read but haven’t (tysonadams.com)