Reading for/as pleasure

I have been reading a number of weighty tomes about great political crimes – communism, fascism, nazism – topics I find both fascinating and compelling, but not necessarily enjoyable. I can find immense satisfaction in reading good books on these topics, but they aren’t exactly light-hearted. In the middle of reading one of the best books in this area – The Third Reich in Power – I just had enough. I decided that I needed to read something more enjoyable even if of less moral weight. Something less worthy but more fun. So I have parked the weighty (figuratively and literally in the case of the aforementioned 700 page book) and taken up the more flighty. It is important I think to understand that reading is first and foremost a pleasure – otherwise it becomes a chore; work – that even reading about such serious matters can in some respects be pleasurable (the pleasure of discovery, of learning, of moral improvement, of comprehending) – but that when it ceases to be pleasurable one should stop, change and take up something else. I fully intend to return to The Third Reich in Power, but I will wait until I have recovered my sense of pleasure in that sort of reading first. In the meantime I think I will concentrate in reading about art, which is important but perhaps more fun.

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~ by Doug Newdick on October 24, 2009.

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