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Learning to write less

from The Paris Review

When I was sixteen, I read ten books a week: E. E. Cummings, William Faulkner, Henry James, Hart Crane, John Steinbeck. I thought I progressed in literature by reading faster and faster — but reading more is reading less. I learned to slow down. Thirty years later, in New Hampshire with Jane, I made a living by freelance writing all day, so I read books only at night. Jane went to sleep quickly and didn't mind the light on my side of the bed. more


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