The Persistence of Reading

“There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.”  Josh Jameson

The countdown’s on! We’re less than 48 away from our annual Cali trip—the one where Rachel and I get to do whatever we want, whenever we want and meet up with our forgotten friend tranquility.  The trip where we seriously consider curling up with the Pacific for an endless summer. I couldn’t be more excited.  

We eat good food, watch good movies, generate plenty of good conversation, and of course we get to read good pages for blissful stretches of unmeasured time.  (Naturally, we patronize the good shops too.) Deciding what books to bring is not easy like Sunday morning.  Nope.  It’s tough to settle on a few.  Right now I’m debating whether or not I should tote The Folded Clock in my trusty black Frye pack.  I’m 40 pages in, and while Julavits is a clever writer, I’ve already been seriously offended once. Remember, I have a thick reading skin.  Not finishing a novel, even if only 40 pages deep, goes against my a-book-is-a-dream-you-hold-in-your-hand grain. It’s unnatural to stop.  For an English major, it might fall just beneath original sin.  And yet age may be curing me of book- finishing perfectionism. Life’s too short to read bad books.  Or even mediocre ones.  Rachel, can I get an amen?  

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ll never hang in economics professor Tyler Cowen’s camp—he thinks we should treat books a little more like T.V. channels. What? T.V. channels?  My dad wouldn’t make it past the preface of a single read. But maybe it’s okay to put a book down gently given some time and if resonance is remote like Neverland. Gretchen Rubin seems to think so. And I’m sure the counselor I’m not willing to pay for would agree.  What do you think?  I’m all ears

Posted by Tracy