Apr 3, 2015

In fact, “becoming more efficient” is part of the problem. Thinking of time as a resource to be maximised means you approach it instrumentally, judging any given moment as well spent only in so far as it advances progress toward some goal. Immersive reading, by contrast, depends on being willing to risk inefficiency, goallessness, even time-wasting. Try to slot it in as a to-do list item and you’ll manage only goal-focused reading – useful, sometimes, but not the most fulfilling kind. “The future comes at us like empty bottles along an unstoppable and nearly infinite conveyor belt,” writes Gary Eberle in his book Sacred Time, and “we feel a pressure to fill these different-sized bottles (days, hours, minutes) as they pass, for if they get by without being filled, we will have wasted them.” No mind-set could be worse for losing yourself in a book.