Monday, 26 May 2008

What you readin' for?

Bill Hicks used to talk of a time he was eating in a waffle house ("I'm not proud, I was hungry...") on his own reading a book. The waitress comes over, chewing gum, and asks "What you readin' for?". "Wow, I've never been asked that", he replies, "Goddang it, you stumped me. Not what am I reading, but what am I reading for? I guess I read for a lot of reasons but one of the main ones... is so I don't end up being a f**king waffle waitress."

I often find that I read several books at once. That's because I'm not very good at actually finishing books and so I start reading another book before I finish the first one. At the moment, I have about 4 or 5 books on the go. I think the one I started reading first (I can't be sure as it was a while back!) was Bill Hicks: Agent of Evolution by Kevin Booth and Michael Bertin (hence the recent Bill Hicks references, though I've been a Hicks fan since I was a student). I then picked up, and started reading, a book called Profound Simplicity by Will Schutz from a second-hand book shop in Devon. Half way through that I borrowed The Never-Ending Days of Being Dead by Marcus Chown from my dad. This one is a library book so I'm feeling that it's this book I should aim to finish first but, as it tries to explain quantum vacuums and gravitational mass, it's taking me a while. Dad's had to renew it three times already.

The other books on my bedside table, with bookmarks indicating where I'm at, are Flow: The Classic Work on How to Achieve Happiness by Mihaly Czskiszentmihalyi (that's got to be a made up name, right?) and New Age Living: A Guide to Principles, Practices and Beliefs by Paul Roland (another library book). For the record, just to prove that I can actually finish a book occasionally, I've just read (to the end!) Things the Grandchildren Should Know by Mark Everett (frontman of the Eels rock band and son of Hugh Everett III who was the quantum physicist who came up with the idea of Parallel Universes!) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, a novel written from the perspective of a boy with Asperger's Syndrome. Both highly recommended.

I'm hungry. Waffles anyone?

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