Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"It is never a waste of time to study how other people wasted time"

I read the line I used for the title of this post in The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. When I read it, I decided I had to write something for the blog. I mean, I had an awesome title. I couldn't waste it.
I'm not reading The Geography of Bliss on my Kobo. It's one of the books I picked up when Border's was going out of business.
Weiner had given a book reading and lecture at SUNY New Paltz a year or so ago. I went, and after I really wanted to read the book. The excerpt Weiner read was funny and I enjoyed his brand of humor. The only problem was, I didn't want to buy the book.
Fortunately, the school library had the book. Unfortunately, it seemed that everyone else at the lecture had the same idea, and as a result there was a long waiting list for the book. By the time it was my turn to take it out I would have graduated. Eventually, I began to forget about it, only occasionally remembering it and briefly thinking, "I should read that," before carrying on with whatever I was doing.

And then I was in Borders. I was walking around the travel section when I saw it, The Geography of Bliss on a shelf right under a 50% off sign. I didn't even think about it, I just picked it up and carried it around the store with me. I knew I had to buy this book, or I would continue my pattern of briefly remembering and then forgetting about it.
Then it sat in my room for a few months while I read text books and played around with ebooks.

And now, finally, I am reading it. I'm very happy I am, too. It's a nice change from my young adult book streak. There are big words that I have to look up. There are places that I have to look up on a map to get a better idea of what Weiner is talking about. I have to think about what I'm reading, and that's a good thing.
I'm really enjoying reading about Weiner's travels to the happiest places (and a not-so-happy-place) on Earth. The quotation above is definitely true; reading about Weiner's travels and research and how he waisted his time in Iceland, Qatar and Thailand is definitely not a waste of time. It is the most enjoyable geography lesson I've ever had.

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