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|
The Cellist of Sarajevo
this is not the sort of book i typically read. it is the sort of book book clubs typically read and if i'm anything i'm not a book club sorta fellow (as they usually include more than three people and my comfort level plummets severely when there are more than three folks at the table). how this one fell into my queue, my well-defined and intensely-guarded reading queue, was through an invitation to lead a discussion group for a college freshman reading program. always up for tickling the routine a bit, i quickly accepted the curious invite with the twinge of apprehension we all might feel before walking through an ill-lit, unfamiliar doorway.
before the actual session with the students, the facilitators were invited to a preparatory talk being led by a college english professor. here the book in question would be analyzed, professionally, and possible discussion points raised. i had a feeling i would really enjoy this session having not been part of such a forum since my college days. as for how it went, rarely do you find yourself in situations that immensely outdo your expectations, especially when you expectations are immense. having the opportunity to sit in a room with university professors of all practices (e.g. english, anthropology, architecture, history, music, design) discussing a book with rapt and pointed focus was even better than my school days as back then there were the inevitable tourist in the class that never took the material or college opportunity seriously. this roundtable of interested professionals was the secret wish of all ravenous english dorks and what they/we wished for in every literature class - people who cared about and considered the text deeply, even if differently. this unusual opportunity was surely the perfect storm as each person in attendance had agreed to lead one of the discussion groups and thus had skin in a game. and by skin i literally mean their skin because failing to produce ninety minutes of engaging book-discussion-fodder for their group of students who were experiencing their first ever collegiate-level academic moment would scar everyone in the room good and long.
regarding the work itself, at the surface the book tells a detailed and intimate story of a horrific moment in human history. when you have the luxury of teasing the words and sentences apart with a pair of tweezers (thanks preparatory session) there are hidden rooms and floors of material, material that exposes the astonishing and grotesque sides of humanity and the choices we all have to make to determine what shape and volume our contributions to the buckets of life we touch will be.
man do i miss me a good ole' college english class.
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