By comparing book reading | Simon Evans

“I I’m writing a book,” said the man at the drinking party, in the old Peter Cook cartoon. “Neither am I,” said his friend.

Still makes me laugh. But work with “I reading a book”, too.

We are used to increasing our capacity in books, but talking specific books that haven’t even been read — let alone created entire independent collections on them — that have already been used. He straddles the spivviness of gate-cracking a private practice and the cringe of having a scale replica of Michelangelo’s David on the mantelpiece.

But it’s easy to fix, if someone wants it. There are some ancient stories worth knowing – Middlemarch, Vanity Fairperhaps Madame Bovary to show interest – and three or four new books in a critical year – The Fire of the Vanities, Wild Swansmaybe a reissue of All the Beginnings.

Currently, more than ten trillion new titles hit the shelves every month in young adult fiction alone. With genres like “speculative fiction” originally created for comics and cranks now being popular, and genres like psycho-geography and ethnography growing all the time, not to mention the last list of the world available on one’s phone (and of course on the name line as The Criticism (vomiting important words like a big break in the way of speech 24 hours a day), can’t keep up or tread water.

As the world divides between long-term readers and snapshots connected by the masses, it is more important to maintain well-defined and informed ideas in our time.

“The size of the island of knowledge,” said the old man Reader’s Read words, “the length of the coast of wonder.” I found that thought both comforting and terrifying. It’s very scary now. Before you calculate the fractal structure of the beach. When you get there, there is no “there”.

The character Mariko Aoki shows the immediate need to leave her stomach when entering a bookstore. The disease involves the sweet chemicals contained in the ink or the unpleasant calm that is very reminiscent and reminds us of the examination rooms. But in my case at least, it’s clear. It’s an unwelcome reminder that our to-do list grows longer as our health takes hold.

And so (sorry Orwell, but I’m too guilty to avoid the passive voice) some strategies have evolved. A certain ambiguity surrounds the question of our relationship with a given book. One, we read. Others are more “look with benefits” or “hard”. A wink, evasion and fudge.

I’m a big fan of anthologies

We – good, I – has gradually developed a very relaxed attitude to what we think of as “reading” or as the preferred and added word, “to see”, a book.

Now, as a long-lived pseud, I learned years ago how to float a familiarity with the author or their work, without telling lies. I have a shell that looks like a Galapagos Tortoise when it comes to this type of thing. But I knew how common that libertine was.

When I explained the theme of this piece, for example, my daughter immediately revealed without shame that she had completed an English essay on a text she did not have. removed, based on the class discussion he attended on the first day after a week with Covid. He got, like, 39/40. I’ve had trouble ignoring it but this, I’m looking for, can prove a more valuable skill than what’s been tried. We are a mimetic species.

You don’t have to go full commando, of course. There are many shortcuts available. Students have long wondered if the York Notes could tell them everything there is to know. Crime and Punishment. Today, that level of investment, both financial and physical, is unnecessary. As Tabata training promises 80 percent of the benefits of going to the gym complete with five minutes of burpees a week, so 80 percent of a new text can be more than first of all triangulated by some oblique plans.

If you are going to a TV interview course, three professional reviews are required. One from The Criticism (obvs); don’t say anything, the LRB or otherwise Prospect, so you can see the Lefty nonsense someone might spout; and third, right wing and American, open the chin again.

Combine this with the first twenty pages of the book itself, downloaded as a free Kindle “sample”, familiarize yourself with the author’s stated ideas and stylistic flaws and there you have it. You are in a better place to discuss than some poor sap who just read. It’s selfish and only has their own thoughts to fall back on.

For most of the time, the best thing to do is to see the product from its Amazon review.

There are thousands of these courses, but Amazon has helped you win by allowing people to choose reviews. themselves. It’s better to get this kind of rating than five star ratings for the book. It presents an informative, often pleasant and pithy presentation – much better than the books that have come out recently from the bread-and-butter approach taken by modern publishing, get a good essay up to 100,000 words.

Once you’ve read the “Help” reviews, if you really want to dodge the bullet, check out the three and four stars. The five stars are constantly flowing, the stronger – the increase in the number is a disease on our planet – and the single stars must be hurt by something else in the text: toothache , a marriage, an unpublished document on the subject in their own. drawer bottoms. The two stars, though, don’t guarantee it – why would anyone think it would give such a good “meh” review?

The middle ranks are where you get the most sense.

As a long-term reader, I am a big fan of novels. Despite the doubts of dullards and literalists, the decontextualized good mot it is stronger and stronger when it is released from its roots, dug up from the dead material from which it blossomed.

The first one I bought was the Penguin, I think, but every time I remember there was on the cover Emerson’s – “I hate words. Tell me a what you know. Ironically though that That’s probably the word I’ve seen about a great man. Besides, if it weren’t for the textbooks, I doubt many of us would know Ralph Waldo from Fitipaldi, Almieri dos Santos or Keith.

Books are dead like fifty years ago

Many of my favorite writers — Chesterton, Mencken, Johnson (S, but occasionally B) — are more than happy in this way. This is not “no” read. But that’s wearing a button rather than boring your guests with a tour of the entire garden, cucumber tables and all. I think it’s a generous gesture, really.

Don’t be shy. The sad truth is, we are becoming an ignorant nation. As a pastime, books are as dead as they were fifty years ago. What little reading we’re doing right now is longer than what you’re struggling with right now – I think if you’ve already scrolled down to see how much of this you need what to endure? Even if we buy a real book, the content is there when we finish it, and it’s not pretty.

Books continue to grow as a commodity, but for other reasons: as vectors of communication, symbols and organizers of projects. Don’t worry about cheating the author of their results. Writing a book about giving status to the author, he will be invited to literary festivals in the Front Row. Hearing the conversation about that’s all that matters.

None of this will stop me from actually buying the books. My physical bookshelves are double, with a row of books that have their own shelves, now covered by the new ones that come, like an unwanted development that spoils your they know. It is a three-dimensional form of “palimpsest” that is well known to those who pretend to read. Name of the Rose before seeing film editing.

Currently, I have 2500 books in my kindle library, most of which are unread. My Kindle library can be organized by purchases. Here are the first six:

Showing the first download The Complete Works of Shakespeare – the next one, one of the first guides, by Charles Lamb. His briefs were good for James Joyce, who created them Ulysses in the performance of Homer’s Lamb. The work of modernism is better, more appreciated – or readable – if he actually reads it. The Odyssey first, before getting the big one? I doubt it.

If it’s good enough for Joyce, it’s good enough for me. All is well, I hope this August to perform a new show at the Edinburgh Fringe called Simon Evans and his big ideas. The show is based on a 1946 book called Thoughts have consequences written by a Southern conservative named Richard Weaver. A book that comes to mind – I haven’t read it yet.

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