No, the title of this blog does not reflect my overflowing ego (yet), nor does it signal any sort of pretention, as you will clearly learn through this post and the content to come. In fact, it only represents one thing, my height. I am 6’4”, and in the HarperCollins Canada office that is quite the abnormality.
I for one feel it should celebrated, and hence the title! Since this is my first post for the new Savvy Reader, I thought I would introduce myself a little bit. My name is Jason Pratt, I am 29 years old and I am seemingly the only single man left on the planet (“for no good reason,” says my Mom). I only moved to Toronto in September of 2009, to a dingy little hole-in-the-wall apartment in Kensington Market, which, thankfully, I have now left.
I have been reading ever since I can remember. I started off like many avid readers with Curious George books, The Velveteen Rabbit, Peter Rabbit (okay, I had a rabbit problem), and my personal favourite at the time, Spot the Dog. I’ve grown up a little bit since then, but those books and countless others hold a special place in my heart and always will.
Right now I’m really into any type of book that makes me stop and think. It could be fiction, non-fiction, memoir, anything really. I’ve read Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts recently and both are perfect examples of writing at its best, causing countless long thought pauses. And that is really why I got into book publishing in the first place: helping people find books that make them feel something similar to what I feel.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I find I get the most out of a book while listening to music. Now I know some people think it is impossible to do both, that one takes away from the other. But, not me. I find I get more emotion out of scenes when I listen to corresponding music. It’s impossible to schedule the right songs at the right times to experience that, but when a song comes on that seems to just flow with the narrative it just adds this inexplicable melding of senses that is almost sublime. It’s a very intimate feeling to have your own personal soundtrack that keeps up with every page turned. For example, I can’t tell you how many times that the song “Angel in the Snow” by Elliott Smith comes up on my playlist when I am reading an especially sad or impossible/lost love-based part of a novel.
What about you? Can you listen to music while reading? Are there any specific songs that stand out? How does it affect your reading experience?
Note: The View From Up Here will be a regular feature on The Savvy Reader, so stay tuned for more from Jason!