Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You Read More Novels Than Me

A couple years ago, I realized that my friends outside academia were reading many more books than I was. A former grad school classmate who had gone off to work some boring job in New York was reading a novel a week. I look over at Pandagon and Amanda is tossing up book reviews at a steady clip. This post was occasioned by the many bloggers I know who are reading Infinite Jest this summer. I am not.

There are still things I read. Like David Lewis' "New Work For A Theory Of Universals", which I finished while staying overnight at Heathrow two weeks ago. And Tom Kelly's paper on epistemic disagreement. And a bunch of other stuff that's important for my job, like this collection of essays on Thus Spoke Zarathustra that I reviewed for NDPR. (For the most part, it wasn't very good.)

Please don't feel sneered at! I admire and envy your interest and ability to read all the amazing and wonderful things you do. I read all this contemporary metaphysics and epistemology mostly because it helps me build myself into a more effective machine for turning hard liquor into journal articles. And I enjoy it, because I enjoy philosophy. My job suits me very well. But I'm kind of impressed by all you people who read novels and short story collections and essays written by people from worlds without tenure. I just read work-related stuff, and then I drink and dance and do things that allow me to make animal noises. Or blog.
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