I fell off the wagon again and went bookshopping over the weekend. I was in town for other business and, well, you know how it is. Jimbocho is the used bookstore aisle of Tokyo, and I stumbled into a few new corners of it even after having lived over here for just about two years. I got!:

James Joyce
Annotations to Finnegans Wake
The Evelyn Wood Seven-Day Speed Reading and Learning Program
and The Book of Thoth

Mostly I got them because they were awful cheap and I was suddenly interested--but that Joyce biography I've been on the prowl for for some weeks now. The Evelyn Wood speedreading business seemed like a gimmicky self-help book, but it was only 400 yen, so I scooped it up. (I would've held off if I knew they were selling it for a penny on Amazon.) I burned through 150 pages of it using its speed reading techniques...I now know that my natural reading speed is a just-about-average 305 words per minute and that my underline-the-text-with-yer-hand reading is a wee bit faster at 399.7wpm. As for all the wacky tricks they go into after that...my reading speed picked up a good deal, but my comprehension dropped. I feel pretty certain the program works if you set yourself to task--and I intend to--but it's nuts how worn out you get. I slept like a baby at any rate.

After reading this article on the best and worst karaoke songs, I'm reminded of the book that was never written on mountainclimbing by the guy that never set foot outside of Pennsylvania. Because that book would've been trash. I haven't come close to figuring out what songs are and aren't definite hits in the karaoke box, but I didn't notice Life Goes On (Beatles) or Piano Man on their list in any event. Abominable.

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