16 Nov 2007

advice for the non reader

i wish i had read this a thousand years back...

Pierre Bayard has written on the benefits of non reading
and how to talk about books you have not read

with so many book coming out each year
he says:
Even as I read, I start to forget what I have read
Wow...

What i like about Pierre Bayard's theory is the four categories of unread books
they are a laugh :
Books unknown to me
Books I have skimmed
Books I have heard about
Books I have forgotten

of course the first category can be endless
but here he is talking about famous books like
Don Quixote
which i have not read
then there are books like Ulysses
which i have skimmed
and then there is War and Peace which i have read many times
but now forgotten

I have often tried to cure myself of this
addiction
this urge to read every printed matter

early on in school
i would borrow library cards
of other classmates
often to borrow two or three books
since my book would finish in a day or two
i never needed to take a speed reading course

by the time i hit late teens
my brother had stopped keeping up with me
he realized
it was better to enjoy what little one read
and not fall into the trap
of trying to become
an expert
in every subject

none of my friends
shared the passion
of reading books in buses
auto rickshaws
while waiting in a car
for the traffic lights to change

old books
new books
fat books
thin books
books flicked
books borrowed
books bought off second hand
books fresh off the shelves

like an addict
i am trying now
to reduce the number of books
and also to slow down my reading speed

but every once a in a while
when someone hands me a 600 page book with this comment:
Oh you should be able to finish this in 3 days...
i resist the urge to finish the book in two or three sittings

but there is hope for non readers
Pierre Bayard gives advice on how to discuss books
one of the prime requirements is to become shameless
and to have the courage to impose one's own ideas on books
of course as a non reader one is best suited to recreate each book to one's own ideal

at this point one becomes a writer himself

at present
i am miles away from this non reader status
but i am slowing down...

PS One
advice from the book that worked for me

How to review a book

Put it in front of you, close your eyes and try to perceive what may interest you about it. Then write about yourself

I just went to website, looked at the reviews and started writing about myself

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Why do you read novels ?" asks Donald Wilson, in his Forword to Anna Karenina.He says because they take you out of yourself.It is as though you are invited to a special party , a group of people quite strange to you.If they are congenial you will stay and read on.If they become dear to you, you will return to meet them with fresh delight over and over again,although they cannot be more than the dream children of the author.So read on ,dear friend..never stop this wonderful habit...........

ifnotme said...

thanks have been returning to anna K many times...

its a habit that can't be shaken off now !!!