Monday, September 6, 2010

Reading List

Arthur Schopenhauer said, "Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents." How true this is! So many times I have bought books (usually nonfiction books) because they "looked good" (or better yet, like something I "should read") only to have them sit primly on my bookshelves for years unopened. Every so often I gather these books and sell them to a used bookstore, where I get a credit with which to buy books I have a slightly higher chance of reading (usually novels).

Now that I have committed to buying a book a month (ideally from a small publisher), I want to follow that up by actually reading said books. So far I am halfway through July's book (Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord) and have not opened August's (Granta's sex issue: not a book per se, but book-like enough in shape and heft), although I did get a head start when I heard its opening essay at a reading. September's book, which I just ordered, is Dear Al-Qaeda by Scott Creney (Black Ocean).

As if I didn't already have enough to read, I just subscribed to Writer's Digest (I also read Poets & Writers). The latest issue included many "top 10" lists including advice from bestselling authors. One of Sherman Alexie's tips was to "subscribe to as many literary journals as you can afford." I noted that he did not say, subscribe to as many literary journals as you can possibly read in your lifetime, because that would be a much smaller number for most of us.

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