Monday, March 07, 2016

I'm Opportunistic With My Reading

A couple of months ago, Tim O'Neil did a post about David Bowie. I don't know enough about Bowie to have any substantial opinion there. There was a bit near the end that caught my eye, when Tim mentioned he was taking his time getting to some of Bowie's discography, just like he kept putting off reading The Brothers Karamazov, because you only get one shot to experience them for the first time, and he wanted to be in the right frame of mind.

It caught my attention because I've been meaning to read The Brothers Karamazov for awhile, but I found that very interesting. The idea of waiting to read, watch, or listen to something until I have a chance to approach it the way I want. I don't know if I've ever done that. Certainly not that I can remember. I haven't bought The Brothers Karamazov simply because most of my book purchases are spur of the moment things on the occasions I'm in a bookstore, and either there's never a copy of it around, or it costs more than I'm willing to spend.

Or maybe the latter reason is part of that mindset, where I don't want to go in thinking about how I spent X dollars on this, and that creates expectations.

Most of the time, when there's some piece of entertainment I want to see or hear, once I can get it at a price I deem reasonable, I do. Once I have it, I go ahead and read it. If I wait, it's because I don't have time in my schedule, or sometimes with books, because there are a lot of other books I'm not heavily interested in, but still want to read, piling up and I decide to get them out of the way first. That's happened just recently, where there's a short novella I want to read, but I had all those history books my dad sent, and I opted to get through them. Which I don't think is quite what Tim's talking about.

I guess I've taken the approach it isn't necessarily my first experience that's critical, so much as the overall experience? I tend to rewatch movies a lot. I couldn't tell you the first time I watched The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly all the way through. Maybe I caught it on TV in high school, though that was almost certainly chopped up for time and content reasons. Probably college. Regardless, that first encounter is lost to time, but I know I pick up new things, or view Leone's work from different angles, every time I watch it, and the overall experience and impression is what sticks with me. It's less frequent, but I do reread books if I like that particular book or author enough. So maybe that's why the first time isn't a milestone for me.

I'm not trying to draw a conclusion between the two approaches. I don't know how often Tim revisits things, or how rare it is for him to wait to digest something. It just got me thinking a bit about how I approach my entertainment.

No comments: