How Do You Do That?

Summer goes slow around here, but what goes slow runs deep.

2 AM. I'm waiting on a bus to take me from the humid sidewalk to my nice, cool apartment.

"Hey, Steve? Is that you?"

I recognize him, but not in the suit he's wearing. He's recently graduated and explains to me he's headed home after a day of work and a nice night of fun. He debated at 2 meetings, and attended many more, giving comments and asking questions of the speakers after the debate.

Now he works in the financial industry. He hands me a free copy of the Wall Street Journal. "I know these guys, I talk to them. It's important to try to stay on top of this stuff." He's not an analyst or anything like that, someone who works in the media around the finance field. He likes his job, but is looking for advancement.

"How often do you read?" he asks. We are on the bus now. At this time of day, the WSJ headlines can't help but take on the stink of leftovers. What has been important.

"Everyday. I love it. I read a lot" I say

"How do you do that?"

If you laughed, don't worry I did too at first. But it's a better question than it first appears to be. For reading, and reading every day, and reading well is a very complicated skill worth practicing.

I suggested to my former (?) student that it was like getting better at being healthy. "Control your diet and take up some exercise." By this I suggested watching one less TV show a day, and trying to read something instead. Of course, this is tough because it's not a question of ignorance or natural ability, but a question of culture and tradition, or perhaps even ideology.

My former (that word really doesn't apply does it? How long should this relationship go on? The bus approaches my stop) student told me he never used to read, but now sees the utility of reading popular, best-selling fiction and non-fiction. The reason is career advancement. He can use his reading as an icebreaker, or a continue-er, in conversations. It also helps, he tells me, in conducting the kind of conversations he wants to have in social situations with people in his field.

Yes, yes, all this is good. Go to the gym (library). Read some different stuff, read broadly, learn to take notes this is my stop good talking to you!

As I walk home, I realize I haven't answered the question.
As I walk home, I realize this is my question too.