33 thoughts on reading

i-will-not-finish-books-i-dont-like

  1. I will make time for reading, the way I make time for meals, or brushing my teeth.
     
  2. I will make an effort to carry a book with me at all times.
     
  3. I will read whatever interests me. I will read novels. I will read poems. I will read essays. I will read short stories. I will read memoirs. I will read magazines. I will read newspapers. I will read comic books. I will read self-help. I will read street signs. I will read ads. I will read instruction manuals. I will read old love letters. Etc.
     
  4. I will read whatever the hell I feel like. No guilty pleasures.
     
  5. I will try to clear my mind of expectations before I sit down to read. I will give each book a chance.
     
  6. I will turn off my fucking phone.
     
  7. I will be a good date, but I will not let an author waste my time.
     
  8. I will not finish books I don’t like.
     
  9. I will let boredom ring like a gigantic gong.
     
  10. I will throw a book across the room.
     
  11. I will read with a pencil. I will underline. I will dog ear. I will write in the margins.
     
  12. I will massacre a book if I need to.
     
  13. I will copy down favorite passages in my own hand, to know what writing the words feels like.
     
  14. I will re-read favorite books the way I watch favorite movies and play favorite records over and over.
     
  15. I will make lists of books I want to read.
     
  16. I will take a deep breath and understand that it is IMPOSSIBLE to read everything.
     
  17. I will toss “The Canon” out the window.
     
  18. I will keep a list of books I have read. I will share this list.
     
  19. When I find a book I love, I will shout about it from whatever mountaintops I have access to.
     
  20. When I find an author I truly adore, an author who makes my gutstrings vibrate, I will read everything they have written. Then I will read everything that they read.
     
  21. If I hate a book, I will keep my mouth shut.
     
  22. I will make liberal use of the phrase, “It wasn’t for me.”
     
  23. I will ask people what they are reading. I will take notes.
     
  24. I will keep stacks of unread books at the ready.
     
  25. The minute I finish a book, I will start a new one.
     
     
  26. I will go to the library. I will go to the bookstore. I will get lost in the stacks.
     
  27. I will read bibliographies. I will let one book lead me to another.
     
  28. If I need to read for information, I will browse and skim and Google book reviews.
     
  29. As often as I can, I will read out loud to someone I care about.
     
  30. I will not lend out a book if I ever want to see it again. If a friend asks to borrow a beloved book, I will buy and mail them a copy.
     
  31. I will not harbor the delusion that being a reader makes me a superior person.
     
  32. I will not suffer under the delusion that the act of reading alone makes me a better person.
     
  33. If I don’t feel like reading, I’ll go do something else. Maybe even — gasp! — watch TV.
     

Special thanks to Alan Jacobs, who wrote my favorite book about reading, and the other sources in my “reading” tag.

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