Now that I have finished my dissertation, I am trying to plan what non-academic work I am going to read. I have occupied my time with my magazines. They are my guilty pleasure. I truly enjoy just sitting back with some unsweetened iced tea reading my magazines. It is relaxing and sublime. Nothing compares. I don't know why.
I also enjoy kicking back with a wonderful book. I used to just read suspense fiction. I like the unexplained, I like historic mysteries, I like the supernatural, I like whodunits.
Now, it seems, I also like non-fiction like history and autobiographies and biographies, other fiction, travel writing, etc. What am I to do? I have so many books lined up I don't know which to read first. Then I think of things I want to learn more about like world religions, the middle east conflict, Asia, Africa, our founding fathers, homeopathy - the list is neverending!
I also want to challenge myself to read a classic a couple times a year. Ideally, I would like to read one classic a month but that would leave me no room to get to the other books I want to. Perhaps if I try for once a quarter I should be good. Here is the problem - where do I start? I don't know which classic to tackle first. Moby Dick? Scarlet Letter? Wuthering Heights? War and Peace? Or do I tackle authors? Do I decide I should read Charles Dickens and then just select the first one that shows up when I Google? Or Mark Twain - an old favorite? Or do I tackle someone I have never read like Hemingway? Or someone I never enjoyed in high school but might now like, like James Joyce or Joseph Conrad?
I often see lists of classics high school students are expected to have read and I think - Jesus - I haven't read most of this stuff. And I call myself a professor!
My colleagues are probably well-read. I don't want to admit that I haven't read all of the classics they could likely discuss for hours. And I don't want them to know - which is why writing this on a blog is such a good idea - privacy is practically assured (sarcasm rears its ugly head).
See the quandry? I know - I could have bigger problems. But I like to dwell on the mundane sometimes particularly since I now have the luxury too.
Only time will tell. And I will certainly tell here.