Welcome to “Read State,” a recurring TM Daily Post feature in which we ask noteworthy Texans—from writers and singers to athletes and politicians—what they’re reading. Today we bring you the reading habits of Stephen Harrigan, acclaimed novelist, screenwriter, and former Texas Monthly staff writer and senior editor. 

{media number=1 align=left}{/media} I have a Kindle, an iPad, a house full of read (and unread) books, and a recycling bin packed to the brim every week with a dead forest’s worth of newspapers and magazines. We still subscribe to home delivery of the Austin American-Statesman and the New York Times, though that quaint twentieth-century custom will be coming to an end as soon as we become a two-iPad family.

Thanks to my wife’s idea a couple of years ago to cash in some otherwise useless airline miles on magazine subscriptions, our mailbox is weighted down with The Atlantic, Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, the Economist, the Week, the Texas Observer, Texas Monthly, the New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, New York, People, and Fortune, along with various academic publications and local historical journals held together with staples. How much of this do I actually read? As much as I can when I’m not checking Gawker or Slate or the Daily Beast or the Texas Tribune—or watching clips of 1950’s TV shows like The Restless Gun or Texas John Slaughter posted by various Facebook frenemies who are determined to enable me in my nihilistic drive to waste my life.

I have a lot of journalist friends, so I try to keep up with their writing, though every now and then I might set down a major reporting piece on, say, the collapse of the European economy to pick up the latest issue of People. For someone with no natural curiosity at all about Lindsay Lohan, I’m disturbed by how aware I am of her every missed court appearance or inappropriate outfit.

Somehow I still read books, though I hardly ever seem to do so in the time-honored way, peacefully slouched in an easy chair. Recently I finished the audiobook of Adam Goodheart’s 1861: The Civil War Awakening while working out at the gym. And thanks to the two-minute timer on my electric toothbrush and the one-handed page turning capabilities of the Kindle, I recently read Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad over a month-long span while brushing my teeth.