The Crow's Dream

Philosophy, geekery, and the meaning if life, and what I read this week…

Reading Glasses

with 2 comments

When people ask me what I like to do by myself, the usual answer is that I like to write, draw, exercise, and to read. Reading has always been a great source of pleasure for me. I do not exercise, or write, or draw enough, but I try not to ignore my reading. For the past two years, however, most of my reading has been done in the form of audiobooks.

I know that a lot of people consider them “the lazy way to read,” and they are certainly not the same thing as siting with a good book. In my defense, Aldous Huxley visualized this kind of “reading” as the best way to impart knowledge to the masses. Audiobooks make my commute better in a way that other kinds of audio do not.

The main reason for reading audiobooks, however, is that I need reading glasses. I didn’t know that for two years, so, when my eyes got tired and my head began to ache after a few pages, I simply put my book down, with the result that I never finished anything I started to read if it was more than a hundred pages long.

My lack of vision, and the subsequent discovery of a solution (I have two pairs of glasses now, one normal and one for reading) made me think about how important it is to have the right conditions for things to happen. Without the right conditions we fail and wonder why. I had the right conditions for listening to audiobooks. My commute is long, and I have an audible subscription, and an iPod.

From now on, when I don’t know why I am failing at something, I am not only going to make a better effort, but I am also going to look for the right conditions. Most of the time I think they are easy to find, and in most instances free, so there are no excuses. Occasionally, conditions are beyond our control, so we do our best. Stephen King, for instance, found the right conditions to write even when they were not ideal. In his autobiography he talks about having to write on a small desk with a little type writer, and Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451 on a dime an hour type writer in a public library. Those were the right conditions for them.

I am going to start looking for the right conditions for those things I do not do as much as I should.

The right conditions are the soil where the things we love can grow. A Roshi once said that “Enlightenment is an accident. Meditation makes you accident prone.”

Quote found in I don’t remember where I saw it first, and I didn’t read the article, but I wanted to give credit.


Written by Hector

June 14, 2007 at 11:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I don’t think there is anything wrong with listening to audio books. That kind of mindset is for Book Nazis…the hell with those guys.
    If you haven’t heard them already, I HIGHLY recomend the Harry Potter books on audio (the american versions); The guy reading them, Jim Dale, does all the voices. It’s rad.

    Harry Potter

    June 15, 2007 at 3:22 am

  2. Potter–I think some people get stuck on the media and forget the content… Those are the same people who think comics are fr geeks or idiots. They should all go read “Blankets.” It should be required High School reading. And yes, Jim Dale is amazing! (I may even skip the printed book and go for the audio on this one)


    June 15, 2007 at 9:49 am

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