December 21, 2012
Good Solitary Reading
'Tis the season for making introverts uncomfortable, what with so many people and parties and busyness. (I should know. I am one.) If you're craving some "alone time," you're not alone. Here's a nice passage about what a difference some peace and quiet can make for our reading habits.
But first, a moment of word history: sullen in this quotation is used in an archaic sense connected with its etymology, meaning "solitary." Don't be put off! It doesn't mean "showing silent resentment" here.
Here's what Stephen Maturin, a main character in Patrick O'Brian's multi-volume historical novel set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, has to say:
— Patrick O'Brian, The Yellow Admiral (New York: W. W. Norton, 1996), p. 42f.
So lest the holidays threaten your reading with their "domestic incursions" and "light frothy fare," be sure you have a good book packed and ready at hand!