Seasonal food has many advantages. You eat food that’s grown more naturally in the current climate, that has the nutrients that people require at certain times of year (filling and nutritional sqaush in the cold barren winter, and water-filled, hydrating fruits in the hot summer, etc). So why not do the same for your brain’s fuel: books!
I used to just read books according to my fancy, whatever struck me as interesting at the time (you know, the way normal people read books). But then last year I tried, and momentarily succeeded at something I like to call “seasonal reading”, or matching your literary selections to the weather and time of year, much as you would your food. It began last October, when I was in the mood for a creepy Halloween book for my long bus-ride to work. I ended up reading Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice and needless to say it did the job quite perfectly. (Seriously, if you haven’t read it and haven’t seen the Brad Pitt movie yet, then read this book! It’s wonderful).
Well, now I want to continue the trend, almost a year later. Maybe it’s the start of back-to-school, or the premature advertisements for Halloween costumes that reminded me…but either way, the seasonal reading feast has begun! Now for the game-plan. I decided, to really optimize the experience, I also want this to expose me to literature I never gave a chance. Since high school, I was never one or plays, or more modern fiction. I was always more of a Classics person. With college came a greater appreciation for nonfiction. But I managed always to skirt away from any truly abstract work (with the exceptional exception of Angels in America, by Tony Kushner). Therefore, I arrived at these three rules:
1. Read 2-3 books every month, depending on the length of the books
2. Of these, 1 must be fiction, 1 must be nonfiction, and the optional third will be something scary, like poetry or a play or short stories.
3. I must finish what I start! Even if I hate it.
I’ll do what I can to post the reading list before the start of the month, so if anyone wants to hop on board, we can do it together!
Reading, like food, is such a joy to me, and I hope that this project will inspire us to be more mindful of the changes in nature and ourselves throughout hte course of a year. And beyond!
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
― Charles William Eliot