I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. As a writer, I shouldn’t have to say that. It should simply be my way. But, as a lazy individual, I write that statement with pride. Reading, like most activities, requires constant practice. And some months go by where I prefer to sit on the sidelines. When I don’t find time to read, my mind seems to slow and picking up a book becomes weighty and uncomfortable. But, I’ve figured it all out.
Now that I work at Gotham, I’m due for a 30-minute train commute each way, which has become an hour long reading commitment each day. In the past month during my travel time to Gotham I’ve read 3 books. In the 3 months before I began here, I had read just two.
What I found helped me immensely was getting myself unplugged. I used to bring aboard my tunes and a pair of headphones. Now, I’ve dropped that recreation. It all really came together when I realized that I’d been listening to the same album for a couple weeks. In addition to just getting bored by my music choice, I had forgotten my headphones on morning and was subject to watch other people enjoy their music. But, I also got to experience many parts of the subway that I’d forgotten about– the anything but gentle cradling of the subway car, the street performers and musicians, the ambient sound of New York– It was all so spectacular.
By the next day I opted to bring a book with me, any random book would do. I picked up “Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers, something I hadn’t yet read but had eyed for many years. I was astounded by how natural I felt and how the train would jump with each spike in conflict, would rock with each near capsize of Zeitoun’s iconic canoe. I finished the book in little over a weeks time, and it was on to the next one from there. I’m glad I’ve reconnected with reading and with New York. All it took to open my eyes was first opening my ears.