Excesses

Mary Ann Dimand amaebi at iwon.com
Tue Jul 18 13:23:16 EDT 2000


I think it's possible to read too much. I also think it's possible to read
too fast to read very well. I have too often allowed myself to ingest text
instead of producing it. And for years I had the habit of thoughtlessly
stoppering my own think by ingesting that of others.

I also used to read too fast to really get the best out of what I read. This
was sadly exacerbated when my mother gave me a list, in high school, of
Books One Ought to Have Read Before College (American sense). Checking off
things I hadn't read yet became far too much of a goal.

In any case, I now read much less and much more slowly, and it's grand. :D

I have also been enjoying books on tape, for the copious driving that life
in California (and expecially this fifty-mile move) requires. Hearing books
is of course traditional, and it also can help one to recognize features of
novels which one has previously overlooked. And of course it's a slower
read. I do wish more books were available *unabridged*, though!

I once had a tedious paramour who insisted that I should not read, but
instead listen to him discourse on SALT-II*, which he was Studying by
listening to radio news reports. After a few days I was zombily picking up
album covers to read, sticking to the text on scouring powder canisters, and
so on. I think that more of the reaction was due to his discourse than due
to reading-deprivation, but I do find reading a pretty necessary experience.

Mary Ann


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