George Lamming also said something quite amazing in his speech, and I forgot to mention it in my last post. He mentioned that he reads for 8 or 9 hours a day, and has done throughout his life. If he doesn’t read that much, he feels – I forget the word he used, but basically unsatisfied, hungry for more.
After the speech, I said how wonderful it would be to read so much – you’d have such an encyclopaedic knowledge of world literature and presumably a lot of other topics. But my wife disagreed – she said that reading so much wouldn’t leave you any time for other things, like travelling, learning a language, spending time with family, going for walks, etc etc. She said you’d live in a world of books, not in the real world.
I suppose because I’ve always been busy in my life and never felt as if I had enough time to read as much as I wanted to, the idea of reading 8 or 9 hours a day was enticing. But the more I thought about it, the more I saw the value in my wife’s counter-argument. Time spent reading is time not spent doing other very valuable things.
What do you think? In an ideal world, where your lifestyle allowed you to read 8 or 9 hours a day, would you do it? If not, what would be the right amount for you? How does that compare with how much you read right now?