By January 26, 2010 2 Comments Read More →

What to Read at Work

On the Guardian‘s Books Blog, Toby Lichtig bemoans bad weather’s effect on workday reading: when you can’t go outside at lunch, just where and how are you supposed to get any reading done? He also identifies five books not to read on your lunch break — because they bring with them “a horrible sense of deja vu”:

Then We Came to the End, by Joshua Ferris

Personal Days, by Ed Park

e, by Matt Beaumont

Intuition, by Allegra Goodman

The Greatest Gift, by Danny Leigh

I read at my desk all the time, although only on lunch hour (even at a book-review journal we’re too busy to read), and what I read is determined more by what’s being published soon than my own personal whim. If publishers suddenly stopped publishing, I’d probably read more old books about pool — but then I’d be out of a job and I’d have all day to read.

What factors do you consider when bringing a book to work? Which help the day go faster (Lichtig suggests Bertrand Russell’s In Praise of Idleness and Tom Hodgkinson’s How To Be Free)  and which are best avoided?



Posted in: Book Lists
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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.

2 Comments on "What to Read at Work"

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  1.' Joel Reese says:

    A few thoughts:

    1) I try to keep it somewhat light — reading “Babbitt” whilst ensconced at my desk would crush my soul.

    2) I’ll often keep it somewhat work-related. Some people like to totally escape work. I think the switch from work to non-work back to work might be too jarring.

    3) That “Then We Came to the End” looks like an fun read. Is it?

  2. Keir Graff says:

    I haven’t read the cumbersomely titled Then We Came to the End. But it seems like something I’d enjoy. I’m reading a book right now called Holy Water, by James P. Othmer, that has some pretty wicked send-ups of corporate culture. I can see what Lichtig means, that it could be disorienting (or what the British so charmingly call “disorientating”) to look up from your book about a dysfunctional office environment and realize that you work in a dysfunctional office environment. Not that that applies to me. But I probably won’t tempt fate by reading any books about book-review journals….

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