Nor does he own a Kindle. He lugged Infinite Jest along when he travelled to Asia, preferring the pleasure of carrying an actual “book.” He does not spend leisure time browsing online; it cuts into his reading time, as he points out in this piece in The Guardian.
It is a good thing that Saunders clears time for writing. It is even better that he values the act of writing for anyone who wants to participate, as he makes clear in this quote a wonderful and worshipful New York Times Magazine feature that kicked Tenth of December off and onto its bestseller run (short stories, no less!):
“The process of trying to say something, of working through craft issues and the worldview issues and the ego issues — all of this is character-building…I’ve seen time and time again the way that the process of trying to say something dignifies and improves a person.”
Words to live by. It does indeed improve and dignify, in part because putting words on paper forces the writer to make distinctions, to choose the words that most accurately convey one’s intended meaning, an effort which encourages more critical less reactive thinking.