One of the best parts of my job, and I'm the first to admit I'm a pretty lucky person for this, is that I get summers 'off'. 'Off' in that I don't teach, I'm not expected to attend meetings, and (of course) I don't get paid. But there's a lot to do: summer is the best time to get research done, to think constructively about changes to classes, to do manuscript reviews, and to just sort of catch up on all the stuff I let lag during the school year.
But I can do that all on my own time. The best part is that I can curl up and read for hours at a time. And not read manuscripts or tests or reports or proposals but thick, rich, wonderful novels. That's what I've done for a lot of this past week, my first week 'off'.
And I'm on a roll. Last weekend: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. This week: The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruis Zafron, who wrote Shadow of the Wind. And this weekend, I've started The Secret History by Donna Tartt....an old book, but one I've never read.
All these books take you places, present you with mysteries, and introduce you to characters that get under your skin. I have to put their books down and get up and do something just to extend the pleasure of reading their words.
I think sometimes when I read during the regular school year I have such a 'get things done' mindset that I don't take the pleasure in a great novel that I should. So this summer I'm going to try to, well, wallow in the wonder of a great book. Join me?