Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Reading Listless

Give up on any good books lately?

Humor from JiJi Lee in The New Yorker.

You can’t stop thinking about the characters and how you’d like to rewrite them as characters from books you’ve actually enjoyed reading.

You find yourself regularly reaching for the book to squash the silverfish in your apartment.

You keep having to reread the first chapter because you’ve been distracted by an article about Gary Oldman’s movies, ranked from best to worst.

You’re ten pages into the book and think a murder investigation would really liven things up right about now. (You are reading “Little Women.”)

You’re twenty minutes into reading the book and just now realize you’ve been asleep the whole time.

You’re twenty years into reading the book and it’s the only book that hasn’t been burned or rewritten by our robot overlords, and yet you still can’t seem to get emotionally invested in the story.

The book has been described as “thrilling” and “captivating,” but by readers who play badminton.

You want to stick with the book for the first hundred pages before deciding whether you should abandon it, but at your current pace it will take you a year to get through a single page.

You wait for the book to initiate physical contact.

The blurb on the back of the book says, “Does for sawdust what ‘Moby-Dick’ did for whales.”

You stay up all night, tearing through the pages of the book, only you’re not reading the actual words, you’re just looking for the page in which you tucked a piece of scrap paper with your Gmail password on it.

You were thinking about Gary Oldman’s understated performance in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” which leads you to Google whether he was nominated for an Oscar for that film, which then somehow leads you to click on an article about the best hand creams for mature skin, and now you can’t remember what the book is about and have to start over from the beginning.

You would rather get into a conversation with your neighbor who likes to go into very specific detail about their meal-prep routine, before they finally ask, “So what’s going on with you?,” and their eyes glaze over as soon as you start talking and so you end up asking them about which vegetables stay fresh the longest in order to reëngage them in the conversation, just to avoid reading your book.

You are reading “David Copperfield” before starting on “Demon Copperhead,” which was inspired by “David Copperfield,” because you think this will give you a feeling of accomplishment that will make you feel better about how you’ve been cold e-mailing recruiters on LinkedIn for the past year without getting any responses, probably because your only viable skill is reading books you can’t seem to finish.

There’s going to be a film adaptation of the book starring Gary Oldman. You should watch that instead.

I love my Kindle.


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