Reading as a Hobby
Here Lewis is talking about reading Chroniques by Jean Froissart, which is described in The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis: Volume II as "a lively, though sometimes inaccurate record of Europe in the fourteenth century with particular emphasis on the first half of the Hundred Years' War between France and England".
To enjoy a book like that thoroughly I find I have to treat it as a sort of hobby and set about it seriously. I begin by making a map on one of the end leafs: then I put in a genealogical tree or two. Then I put a running headline at the top of each page: finally I index at the end all the passages I have for any reason underlined. I often wonder--considering how people enjoy themselves developing photos or making scrap-books--why so few people make a hobby of their reading in this way. Many an otherwise dull book which I had to read have I enjoyed in this way, with a fine-nibbed pen in my hand: one is making something all the time and a book so read acquires the charm of a toy without losing that of a book.[...]
I think re-reading old favourites is one of the things we differ on, isn't it, and you do it very rarely. I probably do it too much. It is one of my greatest pleasures: indeed I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.
~C.S. Lewis, The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis: Volume II, Letter to Arthur Greeves Feb 1932
On this day:
1923 Lewis took his English School exams, and was sweating the results.