Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Day Spent Reading

It turned bitter cold here this weekend. I took advantage of the weather to spend my entire day yesterday doing what I might love best in the world - even more than writing? - well, almost as much as writing: reading.

I forced myself out of my nice warm bed in the morning and headed over to the Blue Door Cafe. I sat there for two hours, over hot chocolate and "breakfast casserole," reading Cheshire Calhoun's paper, "The Virtue of Civility," for our reading group on Tuesday night, as well as getting through ten more ten-paged submissions for the Undergraduate Ethics Symposium - papers on topics such as the dearth of legal services for the indigent in New York City, arguments against penalizing "poor lifestyle choice" in the context of health care provision, benefits to Muslim women of wearing hijab, and removal of exotic species from public lands.

Home again, I got back into my nice warm bed and stayed there for the next seven hours. I read all of Nick Hornby's hilarious/disturbing novel, How to Be Good. I read three (short) children's books I'm going to be reviewing. I read the first four essays in Edwidge Danticat's collection, Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work.

In The Writing Life, Annie Dillard says, "Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading -- that is a good life.” She's right about her second point: a life spent reading is a good life. But she's wrong about her first point. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? I would!


  1. Not counting the children's books, that makes 517 pages at 0.96 pages/minute. Impressive!

  2. Thanks for the mathematical analysis, Scott!! I will have to give you a copy of my forthcoming book, THIRD GRADE READING QUEEN, in which Kelsey is convinced that her rival for the schoolwide reading contest, Simon, is cheating, and her friend Annika makes a math problem of trying to figure out if it is humanly possible for Simon to read all that he says he's doing - and it comes out that Simon can do it, if he reads at the rate of a page a minute! Of course, now I'm a tiny bit afraid that if you checked the math in my book, you'd find that it was wrong somehow. I hope it's being checked by the copy-editor and proofreader as well, but sometimes they're not math whizzes, either.

  3. My John would definitely agree with you. He spent the whole time I was in NH, staying home and reading!