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« Like Bees to Honey by Caroline Smailes | Main | New for the TBR pile »

September 28, 2011


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I really enjoyed that clip - so much so that I'm going to RT your Tweet!

Totally delightful! Thanks.

Lovely! I'm afraid most of my impulses to take proper exercise give way to snatching a bit of extra reading time, which is mots deleterious to the figure. Doubt if I could manage a pirouette, let alone the splits!

Thanks Barbara and harriet.

GeraniumC - I think pirouettes must be harder than the splits. At least you can't fall over doing the splits. Might not get up again, mind you.

Hi, I'm baffled as to why I would want to use "every opportunity" to read (or indeed listen to music). I spend a great deal of my time thinking and although that means I read fewer books (typically one novel per week) than you and most, if not all, of the literary weblog community I am not convinced that I am the worse off for it. As for Mr Rob's reading while walking down the street suggestion; I don't want yet more people cutting themselves off from the communities they live in and bumping into the rest of us too!

Can you convince me otherwise?

Hello Dark Puss! This blog post was meant as a light heared aside on the fact that many literary bloggers (and readers of book blogs) have a to-be-read pile that at times gets so overwhelming that it is psychologically oppressive. Whilst in many ways we wouldn't have it any other way, it does sometimes make you shudder! I am not really suggesting reading whilst doing ballet or even walking! Normal people of course read as much as they want to read, as you do. But book bloggers view TBR mountains as something to be got up and over 'because they're there' in the manner of Mallory. We're dealing with addicts here: I don't read because I want to I read because I need to!

Hello Juxtabook, I did not assume that it was meant in deadly seriousness, however my question was absolutely genuine. I am baffled by how many people would rather (or to be fair state that they would rather) read than think. Perhaps you can all do both at the same time, but for me there is almost always an exclusivity and thinking for me is extremely important. I wish I could convinve myself that Rob's comments were tounge-in-cheek.

Thank you for taking the trouble to respond to me.

Hi Dark Puss. Rob here. Thank you for your comments and your questions. I'll try to answer as best I can.

You know, I probably DO sound as though I cut myself off from everyone and severely limit my 'thinking time', but really that's not the case. True, I do spend a lot of my time reading, but I also spend a considerable amount of time each day both as an observer and a thinker. And I think that part of the reason that I'm able to both, comes from being able to grab at these extra opportunities for reading.

The biggest opportunity undoubtedly come from cutting out the TV. I still tune in but I'm very selective now in what I choose to watch. Mainly I'll only watch something if there is some value gained from doing so, but I do, on occasion, tune in on occasion purely for 'no strings' entertainment, and nothing else.

As for 'walk reading' - yes I do that, but probably not as much as you think, and then only when I'm walking through some nondescript area. I walk my dog up to the local woods almost daily, and to get there I have to walk two miles along a main road. It's long, it's straight and it's absolutely featureless (unless you like gawping at traffic). It's at times like these that I'll pull out a book and read as I walk.

If I'm in cities, the country, cafes, in company etc. I tend not to read, preferring instead to listen and observe. Sure there are exceptions to the rule i.e. if I'm on my own in a cafe or on a train, bus etc. then I do read, but I also pause to take out to think and observe, and to take notes.

True, as a book blogger - and very much like juxtabook :) - I'm a 'conquering the TBR' addict, but not to the point where I live my life in the pages of a book. I mean how sad would it be to completely detach oneself from reality, and miss out completely on real world experiences, simply to tick off as many books as possible? No, it's all about balance, and when I do engage in activities such as 'walk reading', I'm merely taking advantage of an opportune moment where reading is the most suitable option available to me. In doing so I like to think that I'm freeing myself up for other times in the day, when activities such as thinking or observing, become the more suitable option for a particular situation.

There, I think I've explained myself. Either that, or I've just confused you totally :). Thank you for posing your questions, and for showing an interest in what really is a fascinating topic. I agree that some people need to step away from the page more and just live life, but even though I do read more than many, I'm happy to say that I'm not one of them. I just create the extra reading opportunities I need, in order to be able to read more, while maintaining some kind of balance in my life.

If you've any more Q's, then please ask. It's been fun talking about this.
P.S. Thank you for the mention, Catherine.

Thanks for your reply DarkPuss and thank you for for your contribution Rob too. As to reading eating to my thinking time - that's a new one! I read/think to think/read and vice versa. I don't see how the two can be separated. We have no TV (though I do use the iplayer etc a bit) and probably spend more time thinking than anything else. I still don't have enough time to read though. And I have to say I have never heard anyone express the idea that they would rather read than think; it wouldn't have occurred to me that anyone would do so till you mentioned it. It's an interesting idea though! Thank you.

Hello Juxtabook, I can certainly distinguish reading (and at the same time thinking about what I read) from thinking in the absence of reading and thus I posed the question. I've no idea if people would rather read than think (in the sense in which I separate them) but I do get the impression that many people would rather not have time in which to "only" think and that, as I said, I find surprising. It's like always wanting to listen to music rather than have silence in which to think about music, or silence which can be appreciated for its own value for example.

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