summer reading

well, technically speaking, my summer hasn't truly begun -- I gave my last final exam yesterday, and so my grades won't be finished and turned in until Monday. But the sun came out after days of rain, and I'm feeling optimistic that I will actually see the semester end, as it has every other year...

So I went ahead and indulged in what is one of my very few cherished memories/rituals from childhood. At the spring semester's end, my parents (both of whom were academics) would take us to the public library (we went there all the time anyway) and we would all get big stacks of fun reading. As kids, of course, all reading was fun. But I remember the delight my parents would have in picking up new novels to read. We'd all go home and spend the next few days busy with our new books.

(Yup, I'm a nerd born and bred. There was really no hope for me.)

But anyway, I've got a great stack of books from the public library and after 12 noon on Monday I can just sit in the cafe and read for fun. No pen in hand, no computer nearby. I do a fair amount of personal reading anyway during the year -- I need to spend at least the last 30 minutes of the day NOT thinking about work -- but that's different from plunging in with abandon the way I used to read as a kid. (though I don't seem to have the long attention span I did as a kid, which is kind of disturbing...)

In grade school the teacher would sometimes allow us to do "free reading" once we were done with our math or whatever -- I still kind of like that term -- since so much of my reading is at least partially constrained by deadlines or duty, it's nice to have space for something free and freeing.

Go support your public library.