As a result of weeding through every pile in my office a la GTD, I now have a rather tall “TO READ” stack, consisting mainly of New Yorker magazines from when my life went into hyper-drive (last fall when I got engaged).

I was gingerly toying with the idea of just giving all The New Yorkers away and starting fresh with this week’s issue, but now I’ve read two issues that were so great that now I must share them by mailing them to another family member. (Here they come, Songbae.)

Paul Simms’ “My Near-Death Experience,” in last week’s issue, made me laugh and nearly choke on my anchovy pizza today at lunch. He relates surviving a 950-foot fall, and all the deep thoughts that whizzed through his head on his way down.

Simms thought of some advice to pass along. For instance, since you are going to see your whole life pass by, he advises spending less time on the can:

“4. Give a thought to switching up your bathroom technique every now and then. When everything is sped up enough, life can start to seem like one long toilet-sit, periodically interrupted by tentative journeys out of the bathroom, which inevitably end in a return to the bathroom.”

See, I credit my love of reading to my chronic constipation as a child (undiagnosed lactose-intolerance); I used to spend untold hours sitting on the toilet reading and waiting, reading and waiting. Books and bathrooms go together for me; nothing frightens me more than being caught having to go to the bathroom without reading material on hand.
Now I have something else to be afraid of: what percentage of my life flashing before my eyes when I die will be watching myself read on the can?

My husband is just as bad as I am; his toilet reading? Thomas Pynchon’s 1085-page Against the Day.

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