@leverusJune 6, 2012
Not everybody makes that choice. The world is probably a better place for that.
But I know I’m not the only one. I once read an interview with Marilynne Robinson in the New York Times in which she confessed to reading books while she walks her dog. So I’m not completely alone.
And anyway, mostly it’s just short flights, no big deal. I’m in the privacy of my own home. I know the terrain. Why should I put down George R.R. Martin during the short trek from couch to bathroom? What would happen if I just kept on reading?
(READ: Literary Revolution in the Supermarket Aisle)
I stand up. I start walking. I’m still reading. My secondary senses go into overdrive to keep me on track (you know, like Daredevil). My mind divides: I’m both here and not-here, in the reality and in the fiction at the same time. The world scrolls by around the edges of the page, the margins outside the margins—furniture, stairs, pets, children. I keep a weather eye on all that, but I’m still reading, I’m still taking in sentences. I’m navigating by memory and peripheral vision, eyes down, course-correcting as needed.
Then I’m safe at my destination without once having broken contact with the fiction. It’s satisfying. I feel like I got away with something. Screw you, Aslan, I’m stayin’ in Narnia.
Though it’s a slippery slope from there. Once you master the basic skill, it’s tempting to take it to the office. I do. That’s familiar turf too, though there’s a new element, namely my co-workers. They probably think it’s odd. Eccentric even. Bah! It’s worth it. By reading and walking at the same time I’ve got uninterrupted access to the page. It’s like broadband, it’s always on.
Now reading and walking outside—I’ve seen it called readwalking—that’s a different proposition. I do it, but it depends on where I am. Marilynne Robinson lives in Iowa City, where I imagine (I’ve never been there) you can find dog-walking paths that are relatively free of foot traffic. I live in New York City, where the sidewalks are crowded, and there are already a lot of people bombing along them with their heads down because they’re texting. My favorite part is when two texters meet head-to-head and they both look up and stare at each other blankly, neither one budging, like the north-going Zax and the south-going Zax in Dr. Seuss.
I try to be a little more considerate than that. But once in a while I get off the subway at a crucial juncture in a novel, and I just cannot wait till I’m in my office to find out what happens next. I have to squinch out a few sentences in between. I just have to
Read more: http://entertainment.time.com/2012/06/06/a-book-lovers-guide-to-reading-and-walking-at-the-same-time/#ixzz1xGLKW0sz