Why You Shouldn’t Rush a Good Read

I’m still reading Richard Powers’ The Echo Maker. If you think I’m reading more slowly than usual, you’re right. Literary fiction takes longer to read than crime novels or books about blogging – and with books of exceptional depth and complexity, it’s especially important not to experience them at a run. One risks not noticing, in the race to finish, the beautiful sound of the sentences, the indelible images formed by delicate strings of words, the powerful metaphors given meaning by repetition and changing, subtle shadings.

Also, one risks missing the group round of the World Cup.

The next month of soccer games (only 56 more to go!) probably represents a bigger challenge to my reading time than even employment or parenthood. I’m doing my damnedest to watch every game, although I got off to kind of a rough start on Friday when, having put the kids to sleep and pulled up a comfy chair, I pressed play on the VCR (no, I don’t TiVo) only to be treated to the sight of a snow-filled TV screen. Seems my two-year-old had yanked the cable out of the wall during the day.

So, for that night, anyway, it was back to the book. But if soccer scores and player names creep into my book reviews, you’ll have to let me know.



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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