I read a few books recently - good books, that I had never got around to reading, the likes of Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Austerlitz by WG Sebald, and A Restless Life by Leland Bardwell, and That they May Face the Rising Sun by John McGahern.
It's not that I had stopped reading books, it's more that I had no settled policy about it - I was akin to the 'social drinker', happy to partake in the right circumstances, but not driven to it with the fervour of the aficionado.
Yes, there was a time, from the age of about 17, when I devoured good books incessantly - but in recent years I had become more moderate in my habits.
Partly, I think it had something to do with the fact that I write books, which tends to bring a different perspective to the game - apart from issues of fatigue, you are afraid that you will read something that is so devastatingly brilliant, it will stop you even attempting to write anything under your own name for the rest of your life.
It was Joseph Heller who suggested that people are discouraged from writing because they tend to read only masterpieces.
But I think it's also about our old friend, the internet. For a start, I would never read a book in any form other than, well, the book form.
Reading on a screen is perfect if you're reading an 800-word article, but once it stretches much longer, it starts to feel unnatural - to me, at least.
And yet it can also be draining to read so many short pieces, you start to feel that you could never make it to the end of an Austerlitz - until eventually a Twitter thread starts to look daunting.
Indeed, this is probably why books in their natural form have not become obsolete, as some believed they might; there's this universal discovery that reading 300 pages on a screen can be strangely exhausting.
But reading short pieces, one after the other, consumes you in its own way.
It's not necessarily that your attention span is gone, it's more like the entire shape of your brain is changing. You have the capacity to run the proverbial marathon, but you spend so much time running the proverbial 800 metres, you can't bring yourself to take it any further ('proverbial' being the key word there).
Now imagine, if you will, what a steadily deepening addiction to alcohol is doing to your head ? What is that doing to the shape of your brain?
Leaving aside the physical effects of the drink, there is a narrowing, too, of your capacity to do much except to sit in the same place in the same pub every night - if the world you have left behind can be compared to the sprawling magnificence of Love In The Time of Cholera, then for the chronic drinker, it has all become a bit like putting out the same tweet all day, every day.
You can also forget that there's an alternative, and that it's not very hard to find it, if you have any interest in looking for it.
You need to make a kind of an executive decision - because even if your brain is being bent out of shape, it can correct itself quite quickly, in the right conditions.
These days when I am reading good books, I can feel that my mind is expanding, not just in the creative sense, but almost as a physical reaction to venturing beyond the 'short-form'.
Just the sense of staying with the material for hours is reassuring - you are relieved that your mind hasn't automatically switched off after the first chapter.
As a friend of mind would say, after his first vodka of the night, you can feel it doing you good.
It's that, without the vodka.
Sunday Indo Life Magazine