It’s all but died for me.
There. I said it.
And it’s because of the job that I love (and know very well I’m lucky to have).
Back when I commuted to downtown Seattle or the Eastside, I cursed the bus ride but regularly logged in 30 minutes of reading twice a day, five days a week. In those days, I read about 30 books a year. I know that because I keep a list of the books I read…no wait, that’s a lie. Before I became a book editor (the job that I love and am lucky to have) I kept such a list. Now it would be far too depressing.
Now that I edit about 30 books a year (each of which I read all the way through twice, once purely as a reader and then as an editor), I read maybe ten on my own.
At the end of a working day, it takes determination I can rarely muster to plop down with more text to consume. Even if it’s text I know I’ll love. Or would love, if my brain’s text-consuming gears weren’t stripped.
Thank God for Scotch
Yeah, I’m about as happy with that header as I thought I’d be.
What I mean by it: I’m in a Scotch Group that is also a book group. The uppercase and lowercase letters in that sentence are intentional. We are a group of nine or ten men who gather every couple of months to sample each other’s scotch, eat scotch-appropriate foods (heavy on the meat and cheese), and jabber on. Almost incidentally, we also discuss a book at each meeting.
Before a pretty well-known and very energetic novelist joined up last year (he’s a neighbor of a long-time member), our discussions were often…no, were almost always flat-out incidental. Sometimes…no, almost always we would devote more time to discussing soccer or politics or Natalie Portman (something of a group fetish) than we would to discussing the book. No more. Now we’re up to as much as a half hour of book-discussion before it all breaks down.
Anyway: The deadline posed by the need to prepare for the next Scotch Group meeting is sufficient for me to get one (almost always worthwhile) book read every other month.
Thank God for Audiobooks
This is turning out to be a pretty godly post.
OK, maybe not. In any event, I’m thanking God this time because what books I do manage to get read outside of my job are now almost all consumed as audiobooks, which I can squeeze in while walking the dog, driving around town or on road trips, or while slumped in the dark.
Takes me longer to get through an audiobook, but I at least do get through them. And some of them I think I’ve enjoyed more because I consumed them that way. Who knew Ethan Hawke would add such value to Slaughterhouse-Five? Really: I thought he did a fantastic job. And the gravelly-voiced dude who read Blood Meridian powered me through all that obsessive gore and elaborate language more persistently than I probably would’ve managed on my own.
OK, no time to wind up this rambling post with a proper conclusion. But I did post something, didn’t I?