Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Interstitial reading

I heard this term on one of the many podcasts I listen to. Unfortunately I can't remember which podcast it was, so can't give credit. I'm almost sure it was one of the score or so that shelter under the Book Riot umbrella and that it was one of the women who said it. Eventually I will figure out how to add links to this blog so people can see what I'm listening to.

Interstitial reading describes the bits of reading we do in the spaces of our lives such as waiting in line, waiting in the doctor's office, red lights (which are unnaturally long in Tucson), in the bathroom, etc., etc. Now that I have an iPhone, I find that I can accomplish quite a lot of reading this way. I usually have several books going at once, but one generally has more pressure to finish it. I belong to two online and one real-life books clubs, so I'm always behind in reading at least one of them. By assigning the most pressing book to my interstitial reading time, I'm able to power through at a much faster rate.

All the other books I'm reading have to wait their turn in the queue on my Kindle. I read a chapter, then move on to the next. Takes me about a week to get through the entire list, so reading even a moderately-sized novel can take months. Obviously this won't do when I have to finish Crossing to Safety  by the November 18 book club meeting. At my home. I have gone to book club meetings without finishing the book, but this book was my choice, so I feel obliged to finish it and come up with discussion questions before the meeting.

Hey, presto! Interstitial reading to the rescue. All those 5/10/15-minute periods add up to quite a lot of reading time. So many times during the day that I spend waiting. Now I can take advantage of them and put them to good use.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I love talking about books and music, so I decided to start this blog. I've been posting on Facebook sharing my Goodreads reviews, but I want to do more. I'd like to share books as I buy them as well as when I finish them. I'll be sharing experiences as a chorister and opera-goer and whatever else occurs to me.

This blog-creation process is no fun, but I'm going to hang in here.

Right now I am reading a graphic novel that has captured my heart. Called The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, the book opens with straightforward bios of the two main characters. Then it launches itself into flights of fancy which occur in the multiverse, an alternative universe where time is a bit wobbly. Among other amusing adventures, there has been an exploration of the possibility that Ada was actually the notorious Person from Porlock, who interrupted Coleridge and sidetracked the completion of his poem about Kubla Khan and Xanadu. In this book, she is selling life insurance.

In another episode Queen Victoria makes a visit, accompanied by Lord Wellington and his horse Copenhagen, who is very well behaved.

In the current adventure, Mary Ann Evans has turned up with a manuscript by her 'friend' George. Babbage is asking questions about the manuscript being analyzed. 'It's not poetry, is it?' Then he goes on to give a definition of poetry, which confuses the writer Evans (and me, too): 'Defining identifier: the aesthetic qualities of the language do not invoke meaning in addition, or in place of, prosaic ostensible meaning.' She replies 'Yes. I mean, no? I mean, when you put it like that I couldn't say.' Then he dumbs it down for her. 'Do the lines go all the way across the page?' That's where I lost it and laughed out loud. Best way to differentiate prose from poetry I've ever read.