The Dispossessed

It takes me so long to read a full book these days. Motivation and time converge so infrequently. I have been reading this book for one year (with an 11 month hiatus, granted) and I have finally finished.

This isn't a book review; I don't do that. I can appreciate the technical aspects of storytelling and language, but I don't think I have the tools to critique their implementation. I couldn't delve into the details of why one story is preferable to another, short of my own visceral reaction to each in isolation (one tainted by nostalgia by the end of the other). This isn't really a review of anything. Prepare to emerge from the end of this with the distinct awareness that time has passed, and some things occurred.

I love to read, but I'm not very good at it. I pore over sentences. I am slow and purposeful. I agonise over the pronunciation of invented proper nouns (and given my preference for sci-fi, that's a lot of time spent agonising), where many gloss over and recognise recurring words by their shape, in the same way you would a real person, rather than an internalised pronunciation of it. Because of this, books take me a long time to finish. I tease Charlotte that she skips words when, in reality, I read each word in a book closer to two times than one, on average.

So I have to really want to read. And after a day of reading code and emails and messages and comments and articles and subtitles, it's rare that I want to do even more reading when it's time to settle. But this is a poor conclusion, on my part. Reading is incredibly settling, and the past couple of weeks I've been trying to allocate 30 minutes to distraction-free reading before trying to go to sleep. It works remarkably well, and I hope to continue.

I'm not very good at leaving a book behind. I cling to the characters and I like to think about them and their lives and what they did after the story ended. That's difficult to do when you leap into another book immediately, but I need to practice.

I'm going to start Klara and the Sun today. I have a book subscription (disclaimer: this is a client, but I do pay for it) and so, so many books unread.

I love physical books as objects, but my favourite way to read is on my iPad. I use the Books app on iOS because it allows me to add highlights and then scroll through them. If I learn a new word, I can look it up there, highlight it, and then return to it and hopefully commit to long term memory.

If you have any recommendations for books to read (I like Snow Crash, The Fifth Season, Ancillary Justice; oddball sci-fi and things like that) then I would be grateful of the recommendation.