Caffeine, late nights and book introductions

It’s late. But I made the fatal mistake of having two sources of caffeine today and I can’t get to sleep.

Well, it’s not even that I can’t to sleep. I haven’t even attempted to get to sleep. Because I can just feel that my brain is too caffeinated right now, so I haven’t even bothered trying.

I tell you what though, caffeine is wasted on me in the morning. I mean it does it’s job. Gives me a ritual, perks me up, makes me go to the toilet - the usual suspects.

But it doesn’t seem to make me much more productive really. That’s because I’m at my most productive in the middle of the night. Mornings are for waking up, not actually getting stuff done.

So caffeine would be a really handy tool to have in those midnight hours when I get writing, reading and jobs around the house done. It would sharpen me nicely and give me a boost.

But sadly I’m both very sensitive to caffeine and often find it difficult to get to sleep. So an evening coffee would be a total disaster.

Anyway, I’ve just started a new book (Making Darkness Light: The Lives and Times of John Milton by Joe Moshenska). And its first chapter is an introduction chapter - as you might expect.

And it’s not fun to read at all. I mean, it’s a perfectly okay introduction. But few things make me want to abandon a new book than their introduction.

Sometimes they are wonderful and make me ravenous to read the rest of the book. But mostly they just make me feel like I’m reading an essay.

So, I plan to skip the chapter. And that’s okay. One thing I’ve really started to embrace in recent years is skipping certain paragraphs, pages and chapters of books.

It’s freeing and useful. And I’m no longer religious about reading every single word. If it’s boring I just move on. It doesn’t mean the book is bad. Just that this bit isn’t for me.

And you know what? By skipping those sections it makes me less likely to abandon the book.

Try doing the same yourself (though bare in mind it’s much harder with digital books in my experience).

Good night.

Posted on my phone. Please excuse any grammatical or spelling errors.

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Related: Friday, February 18th, 2022




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