Saturday, July 14

What I'm Reading


Paul said...

Hey, two Tour de France books! Dr. Grant, you make me feel so small! Getting all you get done and still reading 4 or 5 books a week! I'm a road cyclist, and you probably know a whole lot more about the Tour de France than I ever will. I need to train myself to read like that! Can you offer any suggestions as to improving my reading speed? Is there a good program out there?

gileskirk said...

Paul: The reading programs I have studied really don't improve the joy of reading, just the efficiency. So, I am not much of an advocate.

Here is what I recommend: just read. Find the time, set aside the time, or even steal the time and just read. Read what you want to, read what you need to, read and read and read--and then, once you've established the healthy habit, then and only then, come up with a lifetime plan.

Just remember, the plan needs to be personal, flexible, and enjoyable or you'll never stick with it. The tyranny of the urgent will always overtake you.

Paul said...

Thank you. That all makes perfect sense and I find it quite agreeable and helpful. The only times I really remember just forgetting the time and blocking everything else out is when I'm reading a good story, like the Scarlet Pimpernel or something along those lines. But I hope I'll begin to enjoy Paul Johnson some day. Unfortunately, I don't have quite the Churchillian attitude toward learning that some do.

Sometimes I feel like reading takes away from my interactions with people around me, but I also know that if I want to lead, I must read! I guess that means I need to steal a little computer time to read. I guess now it's just up to me finding the time to "lose myself in a book".

Oh, one other thing-what's the best position/environment for reading? Probably sitting up at a well-lit desk? (a habit which I have yet to develop)

gileskirk said...

Paul: I actually love reading best in a comfy arm-chair. I do read at my desk a good bit, but that is usually when I am studying. For those times when I just want to lose myself in a story, I turn to the corner chair, get the light adjusted, and settle in for a long, interrupted sojourn. C.S. Lewis would add a big cup of tea to that equation while J.R.R. Tolkien would add a pipe. If I were to add anything, it might be a steaming cup of java. But, that's really not necessary except on a cold winter's morning. The main thing is to simply find the time and then invest it habitually.

Paul said...

Yeah, see, I'm stuck in this frame of mind where reading is only an academic thing, and I think I remember the thing about sitting at a desk from the intro to the Gileskirk course, which would have been directed toward studying. I'm not really into tea and coffee myself, but yes-finding the time-I shall certainly try sir! I think once I establish the habit and pick up speed, I'll really begin to enjoy reading.