I have a confession to make:

Given the choice between reading a novel and watching a movie, I choose the movie.This is because reading makes me sleepy. Two, three pages, and I’m out. It doesn’t matter what time of day. (Frank Zappa admitted to the same problem in his autobiography, so I like to think I’m in good company.) Perhaps there should be a name for this condition, like readarcolepsy, or something.

Because of this “condition,” it can be quite laborious for me to get through a book, fiction or otherwise. It took me nearly a year to read Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars. By no means should this reflect on Robinson’s fine writing; it’s me, the guy who falls asleep reading the Sunday comics. And it explains why many of my favorite novels tend to be short – Fahrenheit 451, Siddartha, Notes From the Underground, Rumble Fish, Illusions – and why I’ll probably never write something of “epic” stature. Don’t look for something longer than 60,000 words from me anytime soon.

So, as sacrilegious as it may be, I’ll take a couple of hours in a movie theater over battling with the R.E.M. inducing effects of the latest best seller.

Now, let me just read through this post again and check for editing issu–ZZZZZZZZ!

Gordon Gravley

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