Thursday, March 19, 2009

Get going

Seriously, how great is Roger Ebert's blog? Here he is on the pleasures of reading and travel.

As for the reading, one of the best ways to read is to get yourself right off the map and out of the reach of cell phones and annoying twits. Hemingway traveled without them. So can you. On a trip you can really dig into a longer book. In Venice for the 1972 film festival, I spent long afternoons flat on my back at the Hotel des Bains, unable to stop reading The Golden Bowl. In the evenings I would break loose for a couple of movies. That was a good book.

That may not broaden your mind, but at least it gets you off the map. Obviously, the way you broaden your mind through travel is to stop traveling and stay somewhere. In my mind I have always envisioned a room overlooking the Grand Canal, a bed-sitter in London, a cheap little inn in Japan. Never happened. I did spend a year studying in Cape Town. Never mind what I learned there. The point is, I was there, not here. The United States was away up there overhead to my left somewhere on the map. I internalized the fact that most people live somewhere else, and are perfectly happy doing so.

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