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Wednesday World of Tomorrow

What I Haven't Been Reading

I took a break from all reading for one week – with a time-limited exception for work-related emails, which I can't avoid this month without feeling guilty and confusing my co-workers. The results were pretty predictable: I got a lot of banking and other chores done, and wound up writing a lot of stray thoughts on scrap paper to stave off boredom at work. It did not make me suddenly creative, or anything like that. Still, it was difficult enough to create the illusion that it was good for my brain, so I'll probably do it again in the future – preferably at a time when I can avoid email entirely for a week – maybe May, definitely mid-July.

The most important result of this experiment for Wednesday Reading Meme purposes is that there isn't much to report this Wednesday.

What I've Finished Reading

The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov – for a local book group. It's not bad! The first two parts are very different from each other, but also very Asimovian – I'm not sure how to describe Isaac Asimov's writing style, but it's very distinctively mellow and unassuming, a little old-fashioned, almost too pleasantly familiar, even when dealing with the sexual problems of gelatinous non-humanoid aliens – perfect for reading on a plane. The third part has a lot to like, but it doesn't really live up to the promise of the first two. The problem the book begins with – a new source of effectively limitless energy will resolve all of Earth's crises and usher in a golden age of space exploration. . . until it inexorably warps the laws of physics and blows up the Sun! But how do you get people to give up unlimited energy? is so straightforwardly compelling, and so entertainingly and effectively drawn, that it's hard to imagine a solution that would be satisfying. So I can't blame Asimov too much for a non-spectacular ending.

What I'm Reading and What I'm Going to Read

You know, I thought I was going to, but I still haven't finished Under the Volcano? There's almost no book left; I'll probably finish it this afternoon. I think I'll miss it in one way and be relieved in another. I have had a hangover since I began.

The Victim and The Americans are still hovering in the near future. There might be other things.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 2nd, 2016 11:18 pm (UTC)
I tried a similar "no reading" experiment once, but I don't think mine worked out as well as yours. I didn't even make it a whole week, and then I decided not to try again!
Mar. 3rd, 2016 01:16 am (UTC)
It's not likely to work for everyone! I think I tend to respond well to very time-limited habit shifts, for whatever reason. Plus reading tends to be more of a habit than an intentional act for me, if that makes sense-- I mean, I do it for unspecified amounts of time without always noticing I'm doing it and at the expense of discrete tasks like "paying bills" -- so removing the possibility has a noticeable effect other than making me bored. If I regularly felt I didn't have enough time to read, or if my reading habits were different, it would be a different story (and possibly 100% useless).

I got the idea from a book called The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron -- a book I mostly dislike, but which has a couple of good ideas tucked in among the platitudes.
Mar. 3rd, 2016 08:04 pm (UTC)
Ah, that makes sense. I was trying to do it as a way to be more efficient with work-related things, but it turns out (unsurprisingly, probably) that I can't go for very long without some form of stress relief, and books are much more effective for me at that than TV or conversation or anything else.
Mar. 3rd, 2016 09:37 am (UTC)
That's one of the Asimovs I haven't read...
Mar. 3rd, 2016 11:42 pm (UTC)
If you enjoy Asimov in general, you might like it! It's Asimov's return to science fiction after a long hiatus. The introduction spends a lot of time talking about how off-model it is for Asimov (there are aliens; they're pretty resolutely alien, or an attempt to be; there's alien sex and Lunarite humans who disapprove of clothing) but for me it felt very much like reading the Foundation books; the familiarity of the writing style made a much stronger impression than the difference in subject matter.
Mar. 4th, 2016 08:37 pm (UTC)
I have loved the Foundation trilogy for much of my life :) though I admit, the Caves of Steel series is closer to my heart...
Mar. 3rd, 2016 11:17 am (UTC)
I have been deprived of reading for so long, I am scattered between two books and three fanfics, lol!!

Mar. 3rd, 2016 11:42 pm (UTC)
Here's to an end to deprivation! I hope they're good books and good fanfics.
Mar. 4th, 2016 12:03 am (UTC)
Ohh, they are indeed...tis terrible that I have my own writing to do - and not the slightest inclination to do it!

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


blase ev

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