Diary 2010-01-29 - On reading

Posted on January 29, 2010

Reading is something I’ve enjoyed doing since I was a boy. It is not something that I’ve done consistently along my life, but those periods when I read the least were (usually) not particularly good ones and I didn’t read mostly because I just couldn’t find the time to do it.
Sure, I’ve always had a pile of books on my nightstand from which I would, on those occasions, pick one and start to have a go at it, until I fell asleep within a couple of minutes. At most.
Reading in bed, whenever I’m overly tired, just doesn’t work.

These last few years have been one of those spells when I hardly picked up a book. I didn’t stop buying them, though, I just stopped reading them, which had the effect of turning the to-read pile into a to-read shelve and then two to-read shelves.
In all honesty, I must say that I didn’t completely stop reading, I just stopped reading anything that was not technical and directly related to work. (One of the biggest advantages of being an engineer is that you never really stop reading and learning.)
This state of affairs lasted until a few months ago, when I decided to effect a few changes in my life which indirectly contributed to me having time to read again. Specifically, I started taking the train to work. Which turned a two to three hour daily drive into a 2 and a half daily commute.

So now I find myself reading again and, as I was discussing with a friend a few days ago, it feels like I got re-acquainted with a long-lost, but dear friend of mine. One which I’d missed so much!
The pile of books I have on the shelves is rather diversified and so far I’ve delved with much gusto into such topics as finance, historical fiction, randomicity ad uncertainty, pop anthropology, neuroscience, ancient treatises on the Bushido and Zen, science fiction, architecture and design…

I dourly missed my story telling friends and, thankfully, the pile of new stuff is still pretty big (and I still want to re-read lots of stuff,) so even if I were to stop buying new books now, I’d still be settled for a long time to come.