Zeus is Dull, Dull, Dull
I made a resolution to read more books this year. It hasn’t been going well. One issue for me is that I read and write for hours on end at work. This wears on my eyes, and I suffer frequent bouts of eye-strain for it. Blaming my lack of recreational reading entirely on my excessive professional reading would, however, be disingenuous. Truth be told, I spend a lot of my free time reading various noteworthy articles online, feeding more fuel onto the fires of repetitive stress injury.
I am getting better at managing my time spent on this information addiction. My new technique is to skim social media for promising articles and save them to my Pocket app queue. Pocket is nice because it not only let's you save and synch articles across devices for offline reading, but it also strips out the origin site's formatting and replaces it with something more like an e-reader format. I predict the future of web design will be to do away with web design almost entirely in favor of standard formatting schemas which are styled on the client application by the end-user according to her preferences. Anyhoo, I save a bunch of articles to my Pocket queue throughout the day, and then read a few that look especially worthwhile while on the commute to and from work the next day. Once or twice a week I delete those older articles that remain unread. You can’t know or even care about everything. Any efforts to do so are quixotic and ultimately counterproductive.
Lots of reading for work followed by lots of extracurricular screen time aren’t the greatest impediments to my literary aspirations, however. No, the greatest challenge to meeting my resolution this year has been my obstinate determination to finish Zeus is Dead by Michael G. Munz. This book has become a tedious chore. The drudgery of grinding through page after page of forced dialogue between one-dimensional bores and painfully obvious meta references nearly put me off recreational reading altogether. I wish I was kidding. Today I reached nearly the halfway mark at page 178 and decided I absolutely could not go on this quest any longer. The mere thought of another 259 pages of this book actually caused a gentle knot of anxiety in my stomach.
I’m happy to report I decided to give up. I put this book on the To NOT Be Read pile and went out to the book store in search of something more suitable to my mood. I picked up Susan Sontag’s On Photography. That woman was on point and proves a joy to read. She didn't simply feel the need to write books as an indulgence; she had something insightful and compelling to say, and she crafted her prose with enviable prowess. I am by no means fully recovered from the psychic trauma of breaking rocks on the Zeus is Dead chain gang, but I am definitely on the mend. If you happen upon this somewhat scathing review, and you also happen to be one Michael G. Munz, I can only offer my condolences. You seem like a great guy, but I didn't like this book at all.