The present action of reading. Or: how long it takes to read a book. But reading a book includes all that time you aren’t reading it. All that time, if you’re excited about it, you think about getting back to it. Expectation, enthusiasm, dread, interest, boredom. You carry those around, waiting for the book to answer your questions, whether it raises them or not. In other words, why aren’t I excited by this latest Maugham book? It’s far more engaging than the last, but maybe something about the serial source kills the momentum. Who cares how it ends and the writing isn’t there to get me interested. There was some nice stuff in Narrow Corner. There’s nothing nice so far in Cakes and Ale, just padding and plodding.