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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/action/view/entry_id/1019658
Rated: 13+ · Book · Experience · #2223922
A tentative blog to test the temperature.
#1019658 added October 26, 2021 at 7:06am
Restrictions: None
Watcha Reading?
Watcha Reading?

One thing about being with a bunch of other writers, the subject keeps turning to what you’re reading or intend to in the week, month or year. Which gives me a problem since I’m completely out of the habit of reading books. That is partly because I can no longer just visit a bookshop when I feel like it (or any kind of shop for that matter) and because I have eyesight problems which mean I need a lot of light to read anything with print as small as a book has.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t read anymore. I can’t help it, I read all the time. As I’ve pointed out before, I’m like everyone else and can’t stop myself reading whatever is placed before me, be it product packaging, junk literature from the mailbox or any other of the constant bombardment of printed material we deal with every day. Add to that what I read on the computer screen (which has its own backlighting and solves the vision problem, therefore) and the only time I’m not reading is when I’m writing.

Even then, I’m constantly reading what I’ve written, to catch typos and the like.

I can’t help but feel that reading books is something you do when you’re young. By the time your eyesight begins to fade, you’ve probably read most of the stuff that’s going to have an influence on you, anyway. It’s not just arteries that harden as we get older; attitudes do, too.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we all become rigid and inflexible in old age. A lot depends on how wide open to change was the door in the first place. Some of us start off with it only just ajar and, naturally, when it starts closing, it’s not long before we’ve shut out most of the light. But others have it wide open from the first and that takes a lot longer to close. It’s a matter of degree, just like everything else. And the general principle is true: it becomes harder to change the older we get.

That is actually how it should be. When we’re young and absorbing everything in sight, writing books is inappropriate at least. Very few people can write that much without changing their minds six times during the writing. The young should be out there, experiencing all that the world has to teach, not hidden away in garrets, scribbling out thoughts that will be different next week.

Writing is for the old, when the alternatives have been tried and inspected and the mind is pretty well made up. It’s the time of life when the energy to go racing about has been used up and all that is left is what used to be called wisdom. So, as long as we’re sitting down, recovering our breath, we might as well write it all down.

And my answer to the question becomes, “I’m not reading - I’m writing!”



Word count: 495

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/action/view/entry_id/1019658