Reading Log #1: July 2013

imageWelcome to the first edition of Reading Log, a new feature to the blog in which I will attempt to summarize a month’s worth of reading.  If you’re a fan of trivial statistics, this one’s for you!

The name of this series comes from the Android app that gives me the total number of minutes that I read each day, week, and month (although I use the timer on another app called ReadTracker and just punch the numbers into ReadingLog).  By the way, that’s the app’s icon at the head of this entry.

Okay.  Let’s go.

In July, I finished the following five books:

1.  Zero Hour by Clive Cussler (2013)
2.  The Tudor Plot: A Cotton Malone Novella by Steve Berry (2013)
3.  Hit Me by Lawrence Block (2013)
4.  What Philately Teaches by John N. Luff (1915)
5.  Siam:  Its Posts and Postage Stamps by Fred J. Melville (1906)

A respectable showing but still only half of what I managed in June.  The total page-count of 955 is also significantly lower than last month’s 2026 pages.

The number of minutes of minutes spent reading was 1508 which is probably fairly low (July is the first full month for which I have this completely useless but interesting stat).  I haven’t had too many days off lately and tend to read after I return home from work.  This is usually 10 o’clock at night and my eyes are often so tired by then that I can only manage between 30 and 45 minutes of reading before I have to switch to something else.  Hopefully, I will be able to do more daytime reading in August.

The most interesting or surprising thing I learnt from my books in July comes from H. W. Brands’ The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (2000).  I never knew that he took up vegetarianism at the age of 17 (for purely economical reasons, it would seem)  I doubt if he continued with that for very long as he definitely was heavy later in life.

Finally, my favorite quote last month comes from Temple of a Thousand Faces by John Shors (2013).  On page 228, the young Khmer woman Voisanne has taken her master/lover Asal, an officer in the invading Cham army, to Angkor Wat’s Echo Chamber — one of the few places where they can speak away from spying ears.  At one point, she tells him:

It seems to me …that wealth doesn’t offer the joys that freedom does.

How true…

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