I read most non-fiction quickly, skimming for new facts and knowledge relevent to my info needs. Biographies and some histories are read at a more normal pace, but still not savored as an experience. And from September through May, I read mainly non-fiction and the Bible. That's it.
It's a time thing, and a priority thing. Perhaps this will change when we're empty-nesters in three years. But for now, with our busy lives and my professional obligations, that's the deal.
But the summer is an entirely different matter.
Little is more pleasing to me on a warm summer day than sitting on the slouchy couch in the living room, mint iced tea at hand, a sweet breeze wafting gently through the open front window, as I vacation in imaginative fiction, read pleasingly slow.
Today, I selected my summer 2006 reading....and I'm beside myself with self-indulgent anticipation. I'm reading a 1,067-page anthology of sixteen short novels by some of my favorite classic American writers.....John Steinbeck (Tortilla Flats),Willa Cather (My Mortal Enemy), Edith Wharton (The Old Maid), Mark Twain (Pudd'n Head Wilson)....and a few internatonal authors I that I've longed to meet, most notably Albert Camus and Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Been feeling down and a bit dry lately, and it hit me that I need to live my life with more imagination and less dogged determination.
And then I remembered that I feel like this every year.....just before my annual renewal by fiction.
The anthology (Sixteen Short Novels, selected by Wilfrid Sheed) is sitting here on my desk. It's hard to wait.....:)