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“FOMO has a special urgency in a digital age ruled by anxiety that something, anything, will disappear.”

FOMO = fear of missing out and for anyone reading this post who is looking for inspiration to help them decide what to read next, this week’s New Yorker* has an article that may help.

An author, Phyllis Rose, decided to read a shelf-full of books (the article does explain why but we won’t go into that here). There are 23 books on this shelf which is LEQ-LES in the New York Society Library. There are certain criteria that the shelf of books Rose chooses must fulfill for her but you’ll have to read the article to discover what they are. Suffice to say here that she enjoys some titles less than others.

What’s interesting is that the article discusses ways of reading, including ‘just reading’ (i.e. not looking for hidden meanings), so for anyone about to head off to university to study English this is certainly one to read.

And even if you’re not heading off to spend your university years engrossed in reading books that have been selected for you, this article could be the catalyst for you to walk into the Wodehouse Library over the next few weeks and pick a shelf – any shelf at random or one chosen after lengthy perusal – and read your way through it. You’ll bump into writers you have never read before and never thought you read. You’ll find characters and plots that you would not normally have found enticing. You’ll love and hate the endeavour, most likely, and you’ll probably find yourself practicing different ways of reading depending on the books.

*The June 9 & 16 New Yorker is a double issue and is available now in the Periodicals Room.


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