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How Writers Read

BooksWhere and when do you usually read? In bed? On the train?

ALICE BOLIN: I read in bed or outside on the bench at my boyfriend’s house. I love reading outside.

TEJU COLE: Everywhere. How long does it take to pee? Twenty-five seconds? I like to have something in hand even while doing that. (Don’t look at me that way, it’s not such a tricky skill.)

DARCIE DENNIGAN: At a coffee shop is best. That way, if I’m reading something good, something worth reading, it will be ok—I’ll be safe, there will be people around, my life won’t be totally changed because there’s the world going on right there and I can step back into it.

JORDAN ELLENBERG: I try to quit working at around 11:30 so I can read in bed for a half hour before sleeping. It’s the main time I read. But planes, too, when I’m on one. I’m actually writing this to you on a plane right now and just before I took out my laptop and started answering these questions, I was sort of vaguely alternating between the opening pages of The Man Without Qualities (used paperback, bought I don’t remember when) and the opening pages of Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy From Mars (on my phone). Airplanes are for disorganized reading, the bed for organized reading.

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