Posted by: Matt Q. McGovern | January 10, 2017

Feeding the book worm

As many voracious readers can attest, I’ve been reading more stories that were NOT on my list or my bookshelves. This isn’t a complaint, although it turns out that the entirety of my reading the last six months has been on my phone, and because of that I miss the experience of reading books that have paper pages. I didn’t plan or expect that; I just continued to add books (mostly free) on my phone that were most like the last story I read.

I had been on a Sherlock Holmes kick for a while, and after I finished them again I needed something written in an older voice and time. There was one evening where I couldn’t sleep and I was browsing the kindle store for free e-books. I settled on Bram Stoker’s Dracula since I hadn’t read that for a while and it’s always been a favorite, and followed up with a few suggested links. My library is growing but at least these were free.

I had originally thought that the beginning diary entries of Dracula, with its heavy attention to detail, would put me to sleep. The opposite happened because as soon as I hit a recipe that Jonathan Harker notes in his diary I had to look it up, and of course that led me to looking up cookbooks for the region, the novel, other cookbooks that Amazon suggested I might like considering what I was looking up, etc.

This may sound ridiculously incorrigible and out of control, and perhaps it is. There is a part of me that would defend this behavior. If I were to have a bad habit this is a favorite one to have.

Some days after, I finished Dracula and then went on to read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which I’m very glad I did. While I found myself at odds with the storyline, I loved the writing and setting and this further settled my intended reading voice when I followed with Edgar Allan Poe.

There are times with my reading Shelley and Poe where I had to remind myself of the time of the writing. For any frustration I may experience, probably stemming from my lack of familiarity with the older age of writing and its pacing, the writing is pure bliss. Some of the very long-winded scientific-minded discussions in Poe’s writing had me wishing I had taken Latin in school and next thing you know I downloaded a Latin dictionary.

Many of my routines for reading have been disrupted over the last year as my books may be unpacked but they are most certainly not organized yet (and the study still has computer stuff to go through). Through broken routines and a very bothersome, time-consuming, unpacking of my house, I still kept reading on my phone. In elevators, on the bus standing up, in a car, and of course, laying down to sleep.

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