Some Suggestions on Reading

Some things were never intended to be read in the morning. Experimental fiction focusing on multi perspective exposition is best left for afternoon. The same is true for small appliance and furniture assembly instructions. Joke books may be read before noon, but not before coffee or juice or both. Short poems or affirmation meditations are appropriate for those early hours as are historical romances, but only in small doses. Taxonomic catalogs of cats or dogs or birds or backyard wildlife are appropriate for practically any time of day, but prefer mid morning and late afternoon. Political analysis can be consumed simultaneously with coffee or tea, but often go down better with gin or sherry and always in the early evening. Golden Books have the unique quality of being able to be enjoyed at any time of day or night. Comic books also enjoy this attribute, except DC does prefer the afternoon over the morning hours, and Marvel particularly enjoys Saturday a.m. and Tuesday p.m. readings, but these are only preferences.

Technical manuals don’t like to be read at all. Neither do textbooks on economics or engineering, so whenever you can stomach them is as good as any other time. Anthropology and sociology text books are notable exceptions. They welcome being read by anyone at any time. It’s a pity that so few take advantage of this enthusiastic yet sadly desperate quality.

Whitman, Ginsberg and Frost revel in being read aloud at any time of day, but prefer being recited from table tops in libraries and living rooms or while perched on rocks or stumps in wooded glades or back yards or from picnic tables in public parks. Proust, Joyce and Tolstoy require evening consumption, usually sitting in a straight backed chair at a table or desk with a dictionary and an encyclopedia close by. Steinbeck, Bukowski and Hemingway are suited to porches and decks accompanied by beer and booze and perhaps a cigar. You can add Kerouac to that list if you’d like.

Religious texts, along with the works of Joseph Campbell, Rumi and Tagore, enjoy being read when you are barefoot. Loose fitting clothes are preferred as well. Read Lovecraft and William S. Boroughs naked. Wear a suit when reading Poe and Dickens.

There are, quite honestly, dozens of suggestions, restrictions, rules and regulations for time, place and proper attire for every author, genre and text, but few people will heed them and the rationale is all too often unfathomable and obscure until after the fact, and by then it is too late.

My own writings, by the way, can be read any time of day or night, naked or clothed, seated or standing and in any location. It is suggested, however, to have a salt shaker handy as well as a hypodermic needle loaded with battery acid. The latter is just a suggestion.

 

16 June, 2014

O’Fallon, Missouri USA

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