Reading day

I took a sick day today and I stayed in bed until nearly noon. I spent some of that time watching episodes of The West Wing, but the rest of the time has been spent reading. I am once again trying to get through Will Durant’s Story of Civilization, which I last attempted nearly 18 months ago. While I was in Florida, I was overcome with the sudden desire to read world history and I have found nothing that reads quite as well (or, to put it another way, is a well-written) as Will Durant’s books. So once again, I’ve started from the beginning and this time, I hope to make it through all 11 volumes, but who knows.

Ironically, ten years ago today was another reading day.

Another big reading day today. I got through about 200 pages of Forever Peace spending most of the day reading.

I mention this because with only a few days left in 2007, it is looking like it is going to be far and away my worst year for reading since I started keeping track back in 1996. I completed 16 books this year, totaling somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.5 million words, more than 1 million words less than my previous worst year, 2003. I guess my priorities changed somewhat this year, my time has been occupied with other things (like writing and travel) and I’ve been more and more socially active.

But I still look to books as my primary mode of self-education, and I look back at the breadth and depth of reading I did a decade ago and wonder how I can keep it up with every other thing in the world I’ve got going on. Maybe I can’t, but I’m going to try to make more of an effort.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.