Last year, friends who preceded me to the Land of Unemployment by Design led me to believe by their examples that I would be enjoying big chunks of time reading for pleasure, in other words, a return to yet another childhood joy. However, I think I’ve read less this summer than any previous year, though I’m not sure why. In an earlier post I did refer to having finished The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I see two forgettable paperbacks near my front door waiting for me to walk them back to the library, and I know I have nearly-due copies of the latest from John Irving and Barbara Kingsolver. But I haven’t become so tantalized by either — yet — that I want to put everything else aside and respond to the call of the sofa.
Next week I’m going to join a writers’ critique group. A friend in the group is writing teen adventures, so she loaned me The Hunger Games, because I thought I needed to read something to put me in a state of mind where I could be helpful to her. (Although I had never heard of this title, when I went on-line to put a hold on it from my wonderful public library, I learned that I was about 950 on the waiting list, which suggests that my writer friend may be onto something.)
I’m also reading Spanish thanks to a Spanish teacher friend who has been volunteering to tutor me this summer. We’re reading really challenging (for me, not her) short stories from a book called, appropriately, El Cuento, (which amazon.com has listed in paperback for 87 cents), and she also sent me home with two textbooks so I could start reading some fables.
After spending a few days writing like crazy on what I had intended to be a humorous advice book for new school PR professionals, I decided that some of my advice was way too disingenuous (as in, “Be a good listener and you can adjust to any new superintendent,” instead of, “Look for a new job when you get a superintendent who does any of the following…”), and started reading Writing Life Stories. I decided, for about 24 hours, that I should write a memoir on my adventures in School PR (trust me, you can have more adventures in this field than you would ever believe), or a compilation of my experiences along with those of others in the field. Now I don’t know what I’m writing, but I will keep reading this book until it comes to me. A fantasy teenage-adventure-horror memoir perhaps?
PS After ending this I realized why I was reading fewer books. Blame the blogs. I currently subscribe to six blogs when a few months ago I wasn’t paying attention to any.
Your post inspired me to grab a book this afternoon, head to the lounge chair under a tree in the backyard and spend a leisurely few hours reading and napping. . . .ahh, those ‘lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer”. . .
Recently I read about a woman who kept a “life” list of books she’d read since she left college. She writes a short note about each and reported enjoying go back through the hundreds of books on the list. She loved doing this so much she is urging her just graduated son to do the same. You could start a similar list of books read since retiring — Never occurred to me to do that; but the idea intrigued me.