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.