Recalibration, or: Why Sometimes It’s Worth It to Read a Book That Wears You Down

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You know how you're supposed to keep your phone and/or computer alive by letting them/it run completely out of power? And then the device is supposed to come to a fuller understanding of its capacity (sort of); it recalibrates and once again knows the meaning of "empty" and "full" and "dying as you are trying to text your family."

Well, I have been slogging and slogging my way through the end of a book that I did not love at all, thinking (as I read): Why do I make myself read to the end? Even if it's for my book group, shouldn't I somehow give myself a pass? I have only so many hours on this earth… (etc etc).

And then I did finish it. And guess what? I was recalibrated! The next book I picked up (The Overstory, which I will blab on about in a while, I am sure) I met with unbridled joy! Never mind that I sometimes find Richard Powers compulsively cerebral. It was fun to read again! I plunged through pages, fast and happy. I was renewed!

Anyway, that's how I came to believe in recalibration for reading. And my extremely terrible illustration at the top (it's an empty gas tank of course!) is my newest attempt to avoid running afoul of various copyright issues and to be truer to what's in my head. Sorry that it looks like the Nightmare Before Christmas, we all have our troubles.

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