One Family member up at 0500 with work to do before the day starts, two family members in car at 0700, lift to station to commute one to school. Two family members in car at 0730, lift to station for commute to University 50 miles away. Later one family member drives 15 miles both ways for business meeting, will return to walk dogs, do work, then drive to station, leave car for the two early droppees, hide key as no duplicate taken... so one can squeeze in hair appointment, while one squeezes in gym work. Meanwhile fourth family member has driven to town to park, train for 50-mile commute to second university. Third family member to travel to a third university to evening-teach; will meet fourth family member in London at 21:45, no train until 2305... home station at 23:40, then drive home, arriving midnight. On various trains, all, no doubt, working with lap-tops or iPads, answering mobile calls etc.
Well, you never did like to be idle, Alex...
Hope the philosophy course goes well. When I get my PhD done I fancy doing a philosophy degree, too. I like the idea of something where there's no right answers, just lots of wrong answers. Although I probably wouldn't say that at the selection interview...
What I can't get (from reading your excellent blog, Tom) is how you read these books so fast.
I DON'T read quickly and it's a real problem for me as there is so much that needs to be read!
Basically, I have three speeds of reading:
1. Technical stuff - like your philosophy textbooks, where you have to go through every damned line, usually more than once. Very slow.
2. Reading for pleasure - normal reading speed. This is actually variable, I expect, but you don't notice you're speeding up and slowing down.
3. Quick reading - for stuff that I need to read but I'm not that bothered about, and that I don't need to study in depth. Usually, this is the stuff where you're waiting for the important parts to come and when they do, then you drop into mode two or even mode one.
And there's also talking books, which are a godsend. I walk twenty-five minutes into work every morning and the same back again at night, so that's fifty minutes a day of free reading. I find it especially useful for old classics which are a bit of a drag to read properly, but which are much more interesting when their spoken aloud. If you go to librivox.org, you can even get free downloads, although they're spoken by volunteers so the quality can be variable.
And apart from that, I don't have a life. Never watch TV, don't go to the pub, just read books all evening. My other half is the same, so we get on perfectly. In silence, reading....
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