24 mayo 2006


What you do first thing can influence your whole day. If the first thing you do is stump to the computer in your pajamas to check your e-mail, blinking and plucking your proverbs, you’re going to be in a hungry electronic funk all morning. So don’t do it. If you read the paper first thing you’re going to be full of puns and grievances – put that off. For a while I thought that the key to life was to read something from a book first thing. The idea was to reach down, even before I’d be fully awakened, to the pile of books by the bed and haul one up and open it. This only works during the months of the year when you wake up in a world that is light enough to make out lines of print, but sometimes even when you open the book and can’t quite read it in the grayness, or greyness, when you see the word that you know is a word hovering there in a granular dance of eye particles, and then you find that if you really stare at it you can read it, and the word is almost, the reading of that single word can be as good as reading a whole chapter under normal lightning conditions. Your fingertips are still puffy from sleep, and the corner of the book is the first sharp thing you feel, and you lift it open at random, not knowing what book your hands found, and there is that almost slowly coming into semi-focus in the gnat-swarms of dawnlight. It changes your whole day.

(From A Box of Matches, by Nicholson Baker)

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