Friday, November 19, 2010

Inefficient Book Club

Remember waaaaay back when I started reading this book? Well, I've finally finished it. I'm not much of a book reader. I find it hard to go home and curl up with a good story. I'm always bouncing around doing other things and once I sit down, I instantly fall asleep. So the only time I really get to read is on the train to and from work. I used to have a phobia of reading on the train and I am still working through it. When I first moved here, I was terrified of missing my stop, so I couldn't be distracted. Now I am still struggling with balancing a book in one hand and holding on to the bar with the other. Turning pages is a challenge, especially if the train is crowded. It's a rare occurrence I can get a seat on my train, so I am currently perfecting this balancing act. Hopefully my low center of gravity will be a benefit :)

Anyway, after short bits of reading here and there, I eventually made my way through it. That Jane Jacobs really knew what she was talking about--even almost 50 years ago! At times, the chapters were cumbersome to read but she had so many incredible ideas. She lived in Greenwich Village when she wrote it, so she often cites New York City as good and bad examples of urban planning. It was pretty easy to relate to what she was talking about since it is all around me. I don't know if it would have been as impactful if I read it while still in Alabama. It's funny to think that even though NYC has changed so much in the past 50 years, the same ideals that make a good city don't really change.

I highly recommend it if you can get through it. It does get a little heavy at times. I can't wait for Kurt to read it because I think it will really resonate with him. That gets me to our "Inefficient Book Club". I want him to read it so we can discuss and analyze together, but we have such different schedules and reading paces that we could never really read books at the same time. Instead, one of us reads something, then the other. Then we can discuss. Now that I am finished, I am passing Ms. Jacobs on to Kurt. Expect in-depth analysis sometime in 2011!

1 comment:

  1. I need to knock out about 60 pages of Candide (over half, talk about slow) and I'll be ready!
    I think you're right, everyone says 'oh, this is a must-read' but then even they haven't read it. I'm looking forward to walking the walk.


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