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Monday, 12 October 2009

Life's Too Short to Read Proust

I am going to start by saying that I have never read Proust and so in fairness, the title of this post isn't my opinion. But it is the opinion of one of my tutors. Generally I just want to focus on the life's too short part.

When reading especially, I have this habit of wanting to read anything and everything even if it doesn't grab me at the beginning - once I've started it, I want to finish it. Usually it's just to get it out of the way but also it's almost as if I feel that I will let myself down if I don't finish it. When my tutor stated in class 'Life's too short to read Proust' part of me wanted to go and find the 14 volumes of his autobiography and get stuck in. But the other part of me, the part that wants to change and grow and learn decided that she had a point. I will never be able to read everything before I die so I probably shouldn't be wasting time with things I find boring (unless of course they are necessary, as in reading them for uni).

We don't have a lot of time on this earth - even if we don't notice how precious time is as we're living through it, we won't last forever. And it is my personal belief that once you die there is no afterlife, just the memories of you that others hold. So the only important thing in life can be what you do and how you act. If you knew you only had 24hrs to live, you probably wouldn't spend that time reading something that you don't care about; I know I wouldn't. But the fact of the matter is that you could die tomorrow (though I hope you, or I, don't) and what would you have used your time alive for? Have you wasted it or have you used it to get the experiences you need and/or want? I'm not suggesting for a moment that you should be wastful of your money, leave your job or have no regard for your future - just because you might die tomorrow doesn't mean that you will and you will have to continue your life and live through the repercussions of your decisions today. But that's really another post.

So to sum up - is reading this blog improving your life in anyway or are you wasting time reading about opinions you don't care about and that later, you will wish you had been doing something better with your time?

1 comment:

Kess said...

I'm exactly the same! I had a tendency to hoard books simply because I'm determined to read them all! I've realised recently that this is just not realistic, and so I've reluctantly let go of a few which were impulse buys, that I know I probably would never get round to reading. I gave them away to charity shops though, so hopefully they will be read by somebody, and the charity will benefit from that. I find that reading stops being enjoyable when I read things I don't really want to read. However, if I do start a book I have to finish it regardless of whether it grips me or not!