i used to read one book at a time. i used to read that book in a very regimented manner, like fifteen or twenty five pages a day, depending on how simple or dense the writing. i used to set a schedule and track my progress making it so i knew when i should be done with the book and if i completed the book as expected. sometimes i finished on time, and other times, i never finished at all.
the never finishing at all business bothered me. like a lot. i found that a slow moving or not right for this moment book could stall my reading, all my reading. i knew changing the book might clear the block but consequences loomed. this is the ocd side of me. while this quirk sometimes debilitated me, other times, lots of times, my quirk helped me over many of life's saw horses. i needed this to be one of those times.
so, i made a small tweak to my reading routine (somewhere along this journey, i stumbled upon the bionic power of small properly-placed tweaks). instead of focusing on one book, i now read four - six books at a time. and instead of reading in a genre rotation like i once did (e.g. fiction, history, literature, non-fiction, psychology, fluff, repeat), i read all genres at once. and instead of reading for a set amount of pages per day, i read for a set amount of time, thirty minutes. when the reading window comes up, i set the timer, pick one of the books from the currently being read stack, open to the bookmarked page and collapse into another person's world and experience.
now when i stall, i stall for bigger, more meaty causes, the sort of things one should set their book down for. not just because the lead character in the book blows or the author and i aren't jiving at the minute. this i can live with.
Stranger in a Strange Land
Robert A. Heinlein
Wherever You Go There You Are
Stumbling on Happiness
Endurance: Shackletons' Incredible Voyage
|READ BEFORE||BOOKS FROM : 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013|
michener is a story teller to his bones. he believes in being thorough. very thorough. so thorough that he often begins his tales millions of years in the past and tells of the geologic development of the area he's writing about. then the earliest creatures. then the beginnings of civilization. in this story about the development of the american west, the human story line eerily mimics the geologic timeline. it began with explosive conflict (development of the continents / early american and indian relations). it moved onto inspiring growth and innovation (creation of the rockies / settling of the west). and it ends with a slow demise (destruction of our environment / apathy of our society). given this trajectory, the book left me feeling down.
in addition to the guiding tangent of the book, it has moments of strong imagery that will sear indelible marks on the walls of your brain. some good. some not good. but they happened and michener does a fine and just job of capturing much of the history that took place.
as a personal aside. the first half of this book has three core locations. the primary one, and the one which the book gets its name, centennial, occurred very close to the town i grew up in, fort collins, colorado. at one point michener goes back east to follow someone coming west. for this he begins in lancaster, pennsylvania, the county where i was born. and then many trips are made to the most populated city westward city of the time, saint louis, where i now live. these moments are so disconnected from what i knew the relation only proved mention-worthy. more than anything it makes the book seem like a work i was meant to read.
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