Reader II

Also reading through Rodrigo Toscano's The Disparities and Platform (& eventually, Partisans). Reading is best when multiple. I've always got half a dozen books going at one time. Many of the books that I pick up I end up not finishing (The Prelude). I look for fragments, pieces, moments, branches for nourishment. And then there's magazines, etc. The other day I was interested to find The New Republic advertised briefly on my blog banner. Their "Books & The Arts" section is one of the best literary reviews around (James Wood, Glyn Maxwell, Leon Wieseltier, Jed Perl), which helps to balance out their often reactionary political stances in the 1st half of the magazine. James Wood's reviews in particular I always look forward to. His essays on W.G. Sebald and Zadie Smith are both classics in my notebook world.

But every time I do manage to finish a book I make sure to add it to the list at the end of my notebook. Then, sometimes I go over the list, as though revisiting old friends. Lots of solitary pleasure from paper & ink. What I like about blogging is that it's forcing me to be more economical with my reading.

The "Venezuela Analysis" web-site currently advertised at the top of my blog is a Chavista propaganda site. It annoys me to see it listed up there. It also annoys me to see you-know-who's name up there. Best to keep reading.

My obsession with reading was a major factor behind my last two visits to Venezuela. Seeing family was my principal reason for going. But my visits to bookstores and newsstands all over Caracas became a running joke around my family. They would say: "Guillo, what bookstores did you visit today?"--knowing I'd always have at least one or two places to list. Perhaps reading is for me a passion equivalent to my nephew's meticulous collection of Pokemon cards.

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