May 26, 2006

I'm trying to figure out why I haven't been reading. Not reading is making me feel stupid.

A few years ago, I couldn't get enough of reading — I was reading at lunch, when I got a spare moment at home, when I went out for breakfast on the weekend … I was reading at any chance I got. I even bought a big book case, which is now home to quite a collection of books (which I'm slowly cataloging over at LibraryThing, which is fun for the Nick Hornby-eqsue obessive part of my personality).

Now, I'm watching television, playing video games, drinking booze, or working on web sites.

I don't know if this decline in my reading habits is due to working in the publishing industry, but that certainly seems to be part of it, which is a worry — does that mean that if I were to work in the music industry, I'd stop listening to music?

Another probable reason is where I live. Being seen as intellectual just isn't the done thing in North Melbourne — we drink, laugh and fight, but we sure as hell don't think. I've always been the type to be easily influenced by those around me, so perhaps that's what's happened? Maybe because I've surrounded myself with people who are happy in their ignorance and lack of culture, I've taken their values on board.

I've bought myself a few books and I'm trying to get back into the swing of reading. Peter Carey's My Life As A Fake seems like a good book, but it's a tough read — the author wrote the entire book without quotation marks, which is a problem when the story is being told to a narrator.

Maybe I should start re-reading old favourites. Maybe buy copies of favourite books that I don't own. Everyone should own copies of 1984 and Catcher In The Rye, shouldn't they?

I've heard that Salman Rushdie's later work is a lot more accessible than some of his earlier books. Fury is one of the most amazing books I've ever read. Maybe I'll give him another shot.

I'm going to start getting out of the office for an hour each day to eat my lunch and read. Except for today — I've got too much to do at work.