Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Reading Guilt

I should not feel guilty. I am doing what I want to, that is reading a daily newspaper during the week, the local newspapers and occasionally the gay weeklies, although the latter has decreasing relevance to me. Of course I read an awful lot on this screen but I don't like long reads on the net. One page is usually enough for me.

What I am not reading is books. The same one has been on my bedside table for more than a month, maybe two even. It is a book full of anecdotes from outback Australia. It was a gift at christmas, so I feel obliged to read it. It is ok, but not what I would call gripping. It is just easy to pick up and put down. Perhaps I should read a good novel.

What troubles me is that in pre internet days, I used to devour books at the rate of two or three a week, as well as reading more newspapers. Aren't we to believe that books are good and educational and the internet is bad and addictive?

Some of you might think, well if High Riser spent a bit less time writing posts for his blog and a bit more time reading books, the world would be a better place.

Maybe, but I tell myself if I wanted to read books so much, I would.

I work a 40 hour week. Often my travel time to and from work is 80 minutes if I come home for lunch. Personal relationship to attend to, family matters, friends, house work, blogging, taking snaps when out and about. I do like being out and about looking at various things. I have seen a stunning single storey house with a beautiful garden. To take some snaps of it is the next expedition.

So, while I am the poorer for it, reading books just does not get much of a look in now. If you want a reader, take a look at The Resident Judge of Port Phillip blog. She churns through them writes about them too.

13 comments:

  1. I have a small library - once I would read books like they were going to be banned...now i have slowed down...but sometimes you go through a period where you read a lot, or write a lot. or paint...then there will be a gap where you don't - sometimes it kicks off again maybe not - but those of us who have read a library just about...maybe we also need to live the life too and use what we have read...or just let iot circulate a bit...its always there if we break a leg (hope not) or something...

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  2. That is another thing MC. We keep books because we liked them, but then never read them again. I tend to read a lot when travelling on holidays. Hope we cannot break our legs to give us more reading time.

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  3. I've read all the good books ever written. Now all that's left is Harry Potter.

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  4. Golly Brian, that is a big statement.

    I agree, Andrew. I am reading fewer books but more 'stuff'. Short attention span is the problem, I think.

    I want to read more, but I want to do a lot of things more.

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  5. Perversely Brian, perhaps you have. There are only so many good books. Let me know about Potter and if they are worth my effort.

    Don't worry Julie, Brian is given to hyperbole. Short attention span is usually a criticism of the young, yet both you and I suffer from it. You can do anything to me, except bore me.

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  6. Actually I've read the Harry Potter books too, now that I come to think about it. I'd forgotten about reading them because I'd intentionally suppressed their awfulness.

    Having said that, I still maintain that the worst book, beyond any shadow of a doubt, ever written is Moby Dick. You know when you reach Moby Dick, and realise that it's considered to be a classic, that you've read everything worthwhile and there's nowhere left to go.

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  7. Ah! but some of that reading IS my work! (enjoyable, but work nonetheless). I spend hours reading on the Internet, but often feel dissatisfied at the end of it- I can't remember what I've read, or how I found it

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  8. Brian, my mind won't sort out Moby from Jonah.

    Same here Judge. It just doesn't sink in like reading a hard copy. Perhaps because when using the screen, there you are always scanning a bit with your eyes.

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  9. Anonymous9:54 pm

    Agreed - the only time I read fiction is when on holidays. Lots of technical stuff next to the bed, of late have even stopped reading the Letters page and the Opinions page in The Age. TV - last two nights, something horrific happening. (With graphic pictures - Andrew, yours are MUCH nicer) I dont deny its existence, I wish it would all go away...

    Michael.

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  10. Anonymous9:56 pm

    Its all too much. Why cant I go far away and do my Rocket Science experiments in peace?
    Michael.

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  11. Michael, my partner can be wise at times. You always have to have a dream. I think you are well read already. Don't worry about it.

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  12. I'm reading a good series of books at the moment. I read them when it's quiet at work, however my eyes get sore after a while and I have to give up! I think I need to get my eyes tested again!

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  13. Books and staring at a screen for so long can't be good Fen.

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