April 28, 2010

Ruined by Reading

I didn't think I was going to make it yesterday.

We had a crazy morning around here. We barely made it to school on time. The dog got sick (he is fine now). I went to Whole Foods with a friend. Doesn't sound like a big deal except that Whole Foods is 45 minutes from my house.

We went to lunch.

On the way home we had to make an hour pit stop on the not so good side of town while we waited for the tow truck.

Then I actually had to cook some of that great food and grass fed beef on our brand new grill. Yesterday was our only family night for meals. I finally blogged about Monday's book and then it was 8:00 PM. I hadn't even begun a book.

After a quick check of my shelves I spied this small tome. I think I have read it before. I didn't care (I didn't remember it anyway). It was a perfect book for the crazy day.

Reading ... does offer a delectable exercise for the mind .... Like the bodies of dancers or athletes, the minds of readers are genuinely happy and self-possessed only when cavorting around, doing their stretches and leaps and jumps to the tune of words.

I like this little book. It wasn't really as much about reading as it was a note or a letter to the author's books thanking them for their importance in her life.

It started -- my reading, that is -- innocently enough, and then it infiltrated. It didn't replace living, it infused it, till the two became inextricable, like molecules of hydrogen and oxygen in a bead of water.

My favorite passage was this ... it seemed so appropriate after the hours my husband and I spent this weekend trying to put the grill together.

Incidentally, living by the word, by organized series of words, which is narrative, is a handicap when it comes to operating modern electronic devices like telephone answering machines or VCRs. (Or reading directions for putting a grill together.) Such ineptness is not due, as laughing children suppose, to quaintness or premature senility. It is simply that readers are accustomed to receiving information in the narrative mode.

1 comment:

  1. I like that last quote, but don't find it true for cookbooks. Nigella Lawson's How to Eat is written in a more narrative style and it drives me bats trying to read ahead and see what ingredients I need, and when to use them.

    I do find myself always constructing narratives about the events of a day, though. I think (and often live) in stories.