Deep Summer Reading
It doesn’t feel like summer in Melbourne. The sky is silvery grey, there’s a chilly breeze rustling the leaves of our tomato plants and the ground is deliciously soggy from the latest downpour.
But the cool weather has been great for reading. I’ve been convalescing the past month and there’s nothing nicer on a cool day than lying in bed with a cup of tea and a stack of good books to hand.
One thing I noticed as the piles grew higher is that the more I read, the more deeply I engaged with each new book. Towards the end of last year I’d spent too much time on the internet, done too much shallow reading. (If you want to understand exactly what it means to read shallowly, get a hold of Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows)
The beautiful thing about deep reading is that it’s like working a muscle – the more you use that muscle, the more powerful it becomes.
I’m an eclectic reader. I like to read across all genres and forms. I enjoy a good children’s book as much as a work of complex literary fiction. I don’t grow fatigued with reading if I vary it. A couple of prize winning literary novels are nicely leavened by a graphic novel or a playful kid’s adventure book. Reading widely can help you develop the ability to read all types of books with more clarity.