Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Am Remembering My Father Fondly Today

My father once told me that if a book he was reading proved boring or slow-going he would read only the even-numbered pages for a while.  Which is an interesting idea.  After all, your rate of progress through the book increases one-fold.  Or two-fold.  Or 100%.  Something like that.  And then when it starts getting interesting again, you start reading both pages.  Or, if it doesn't get interesting, you finish the book in half the time.

It's not a perfect plan, since you do miss some stuff (although he did tell me that if something of obvious importance happened on an odd page it was okay to go back and check it out), but it helped me make my way through the really grim Japanese prison camp scenes in Laura Hillenbrand's "Unbroken" that comprised the third and fourth fifths of the book.

For the record, I have an extremely high tolerance for stuff like that, but it seemed so unremitting after a while that it was just getting me down.  So yesterday I employed Dad's technique and am glad I did.  Once the war was over I switched back to normal speed and enjoyed the end quite a bit.

Thanks, old bean.

[As a personal aside:  The good part of reading for pleasure is that if you are not liking a book you can just stop reading it.  I do this plenty, but once I hit the half-way point I have this strong sense that I should just finish the damned thing, for good or for bad.]

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