I had always said I would never read on a device. I had always said I would never have a cell phone. Well, you know what they say about “never.” As for “always,” it really can’t be projected into the future. You can presume. But “always” is like “a body in motion.” It will continue until an external force interrupts it or redirects it. “Always” is constant only in the past or in the present–always did, always do. Circumstances can change, forcing you to make changes. Didn’t have to before, but do now. Didn’t want to before, but now do. You can change, maybe learn something new that causes you to see something differently; you change your mind.
So, I’ve had a cell phone for about eleven years. Circumstances changed, and I had to get one. Now, I need one. It’s literally a necessity. For me.
The cool thing is that cell phones have changed and improved considerably since I first got one. I’m sure I don’t have to explain that. Most people use them far more than I do. I’m selective about apps. I actually prefer my laptop for most things. But recently I downloaded and started using the Libby app. It’s awesome. I can check out books from the library. Either e-books, or audiobooks. E-books on my computer hurts my eyes. But I don’t have an issue reading from my iPhone, I have discovered, to my delight. So, when I wake up in the wee hours, as I tend to do (I’ve always been prone to insomnia, even as a kid), I don’t have to turn on a light to read. I just reach for my iPhone.
On my laptop, I sometimes listen to audiobooks. I only listen to books when I need to hear the information, and don’t care about the writing itself. Or when I’m not sure I will like the writing/writer. Hearing is easier than reading. When I read, I read for “the word.” The language. How something is written. I look for beauty in the language, in the style. I look for depth in the writer and the writing, the work. If it’s beautiful writing, I want to experience reading it. I want to look at the words. Savor them. It’s interesting, though, because poetry is different. Hearing it read gives it a different dimension. Deeper, further meaning.
I am currently reading My Struggle: Book Five, by Karl Ove Knausgaard. With the Libby app. I started with book 5 (of 6 autobiographical novels, written after his debut novel Out of the World, which I also want to read) because in it he writes about having writer’s block, while seeing his friends one by one get published. He writes about “a shattering love affair,” and also, “his father dies, and shortly thereafter he completes his first novel.” I thought, OK, I’ll bet he has father issues. To my thinking, this book had potential for depth. I’m loving it. I’m so happy to be reading this. I will read more Knausgaard after this.
I came across an article about Zadie Smith, actually, and she mentions Knausgaard. I was intrigued, and decided to check him out. But I also wanted to read Zadie Smith. I’ve seen her name for some time, but hadn’t looked her up. This article made me curious, so I checked out my library. 99% of the time, the book I want to read isn’t at my branch. I had to request it. (Knausgaard is only available as an ebook. That’s why I downloaded the Libby app.) I had already requested Largesse of the Sea Maiden, Denis Johnson (R.I.P 😦 ), posthumously published. I was number nine of nine requests for Largesse. I didn’t expect it all that soon. All the books were checked out, and there were eight people in front of me. What if the readers held on to the book for the entire three weeks. Or passed the due date. I’d have time to read ZS first. I presumed. It only took a couple of days to get ZS. When I went to pick up the book yesterday, the librarian told me Largesse was in too. Came in that morning. 😮 I was surprised, but happy. 🙂 That means I have to complete it first, because last I checked, 46 people were waiting behind me. For all I know, the list has grown even longer. I think it’s cool that people still utilize libraries.
I’ve decided to read Largesse first, continue with Struggle also, as I can during the day, and if/when I wake up during the night, then I’ll get to ZS. I should be able to get through Largesse in three days. I’m not a speed reader. Some people read really fast. I wish I did, because there are so many books I want to read. But I’m not a fast reader. Just not.
I have no idea if I’ll like Zadie Smith’s novels. Some people love them, some don’t like them at all, from comments I’ve read. I’d probably like her essays, though. I did like her responses to fans in the article I read. The only thing I didn’t agree with, was her opinion of Jay-Z. She says his rapping “pours right into your ear like water from a tap.” Not for me. More like water up my nose. Not a fan. At all. And apparently, she had “early dislike of Joni Mitchell” and I gather from the article she considered her low-brow. For me, I dislike Mitchell’s voice, I find it jarring, but I do think she wrote some beautiful lyrics. I love hearing people with beautiful voices sing Joni Mitchell songs. Her lyrics are poetry.
Reading (and music) is a personal experience. Depends on who you are, what you need, what you seek, how you think, how you perceive, what and how you understand, what you know or don’t. And then there’s personal taste. I think vibration has something to do with it too. Isn’t that what the the whole universe is, energy and vibration? We dig a particular vibe, and totally dislike another. And it’s all cool. You know? It’s all cool. Different strokes. That’s all.