(Image above from here)
Last night I finished reading Peter Frankopan's The Silk Road: A new history of the world. It is a fascinating read, and one which is so dense with historic instance that I found that I had to take breaks - often between individual, but long, chapters - in order more fully to chew over the content. Reviews can be read here and here and here and here and here.
Leopold von Kalckreuth: Artist's wife reading in bed (image from here)
During the breaks I would read much lighter books which distracted the flibbertygibbet aspect of my brain, so that deep thought could take place.
It was unfortunate that I'd chosen the Frankopan for bedtime reading, especially as it is so long - even without the extensive notes. I suspect that my choice was governed more by it being on the Kindle, and that my other serious reading at the moment consists mostly of art books, which are definitely not suitable for reading in bed.
Juggler, 2009 (the first of many!)
I don't know whether it is despite or because of the pauses I took, but the deeper thinking awoke an aspect of enjoyment which I have not really experienced since university days. I suspect that my jugglers have been trying to tell me this over the past years: less pointless frivolity is needed in my diet - although we all need a good pinch of regular diversity. I am too addicted to whodunnits to give them up of course, and besides, some of them are so well written that they too provide thought-provoking input, as does so much of the general fiction I read. It's just that I definitely now feel the need for more deep diving.
Design for Underwater encounter
Of course this leads to more juggling of time: to fit in more reading and thinking. Something will have to give way. How I wish it could be the chores! But I have increasingly been feeling that even at my slow pace I produce too much stuff which clutters the attic, and will doubtless eventually become landfill. So I shall eat into my creative endeavours which at the moment take most of my thinking time, in order further to indulge my two other favourite occupations: reading and thinking. I will still be shopping - which as all economists tell us makes the world continue going round - buying books, which in their physical form are highly biodegradable, and in electronic form almost don't really exist.
Strange pages, 2009