The pleasures of not reading

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

For the second time in as many months, The Millions has a post about the pleasures to be found in not reading books. In May, Kirsty Logan wrote about how she'd rather not read some books for fear of ruining her expectations of them, and yesterday, Jacob Lambert chips in with a piece about enjoying the possibilities before picking out a new book to read:

In recent months, that moment of lingering, of browsing my own library, has become one of my favorite aspects of reading.  In the past, I’d immediately swap the book I’d just read for a new one, a literary chain-smoker.  But now I take my time—luxuriating in possibility, enjoying expectation, and pondering what’s next with a real, idle pleasure.


My postponement of reading was a way to embellish that longing, to make it even more deliciously perpetual.  After thirty years, I’d found one more way to wring enjoyment from books—even as they sat on the shelf.