I've spent a bit of my day today doing what I love to do best, which is sit around and read (and eat) and another bit of it doing something else I love to do best, wandering around in a dustymustysmellslikedistintegratingpaper used book store. I passed over a whole stack of classics that I always pass over, thinking that there are many books there I should read and many that I will probably actually read eventually, but not now. Why do I pass them by if I think both of those things?
The answer to that isn't clear to me, but I quite like how this article makes it ok. The writer writes, "I have not read Wordsworth’s “The Prelude” six times. The first time I did not read it was in an undergraduate class on Romantic literature..."
I certainly can name books I have not read numerous times. Did you know that I also have never seen the movie "Titanic"? And just because I'm the only living American over the age of ten who can honestly claim that, now I'm pretty committed to keeping it that way. If it were playing in a room I entered, I'd likely turn around and walk back out. But it appears I'm not alone - here's Ms Buchanan again:
"By contrast, there’s something beautifully specific about the things we might just as well do but repeatedly and purposefully avoid.... I have never watched “The Tonight Show.” If I walk into a room where it is playing I will walk right out to preserve my perfect record."
Perhaps we'd leave together, and go not read some Wordsworth together.
The title of this post is from one of my favorite poems, "Portrait of the Artist as a Prematurely Old Man" by Ogden Nash. Read the text here or let me email you the mp3 of the man himself reading it; it's fantastic. Also a good option: ask me to recite my impression of the man himself reading it. Also fantastic :)