Reading takes time let me tell you. I’ve bought a lot of hardcover comic collections lately that I haven’t yet had time to read. But I look forward to reading them. I read a book recently, I can’t remember which, that mentioned a person’s bookshelf should be filled with books they haven’t read. It’s a joy to look at a shelf full of unread books and dream of the fun of reading them. I’m enjoying looking at my shelf.

I won’t be able to get to many of those books for a while because I just started reading a big ol’ novel. It runs about 1200 pages. I’ve read plenty of big books and am not intimidated by them as some people are. After all, I enjoy reading and it is no more effort to read a big book than a small one. It just takes more time. And time passes whether we want it to or not so I may as well spend some of it reading.

The book I just started reading is Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. I’ve never read any of her books before. I am aware that she started some sort of philosophical movement and has a society dedicated to her work and philosophy but I don’t know many of the details of her school of thought. I’ve always been a little curious about it because, I believe, it’s based on reason. Reason is a favorite of mine.

I was watching Book TV last weekend (that’s when the cable channel CSPAN2, which broadcasts the US Congress during the week, shows lectures by non-fiction authors on the weekends) and they were broadcasting a bunch of people (from whatever the Ayn Rand society is named) lecturing on Rand and the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of “Atlas Shrugged”. It got me interested.

The particular lectures I saw were more of a celebration of Rand than an explanation of her philosophy. It was touched on but didn’t really give me the Xs and Os of her thinking. There were a few people who explained how the book affected their lives and how it held more truth than their school experience but I never quite got a handle on what that truth was. Because of what they were saying I think it has something to do with capitalism in general and business as a heroic endeavor. People often like to imagine what they are doing is a heroic endeavor. It’s what gets us through or lives but I have a hard time thinking of a philosophy based on that. Maybe I’m way off base though. That idea was put into my head by the speakers and not the book.

Speaking of the book, I’m about a hundred and twenty pages into it and I am enjoying it so far. The back cover blurb sums it up best, “…a philosophical revolution told in the form of an action thriller”. I’m not sure if I get the “philosophical revolution” part yet but it is full of interesting and original characters. They are all business people too. A diverse group of business people for sure and I’m not sure yet who the heroes and villains are. That makes things interesting.

We are living in age that worships business and capitalism (was it ever not so in the USA?) so maybe we’re living in a post-Rand time when a lot of her philosophies have been adopted and I don’t even notice them or maybe I’m only 120 pages into a 1200 page book and that’s why her philosophy hasn’t hit me over the head yet. Either way I’m enjoying my reading and someday I’ll let you know if I understand it all. Right now I’m just bleary eyed.