Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Reading Chair

Last year, my buddy Rod Jones read 40 books. FORTY BOOKS! And they weren't all books like Harry Potter that you just start reading and 24 hours later realize that you accidentally swallowed it whole. This year he's going to shoot for 52...and I believe he'll do it.

I've enjoyed reading since I was able to do so, but when adolescence set in, my interests (girls) diversified so greatly and quickly that I either ran out of time for reading, or simply forgot about it. Of course, teachers ASSIGNING reading didn't mesh well with my rebellious nature.

When I got to college, I had "free time" for the first time. I put that in quotation marks because that "free time" could also have been labeled as study time or class time. That year, for some reason, I picked up "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald (a book I was supposed to read multiple times in high school, but never did) and was astounded by its beauty. I made sure to slip back into the high school on one of my breaks to apologize to Mrs. Bucks for not reading it when she'd originally asked me to do so. Thanks to Fitzgerald's genius, I'd re-discovered my love for reading. Every once in a while, I come across a book that reminds me of the treasures you can find in literature.

I daresay that Rod's got me inspired and excited to do some more reading this year. I haven't set a number yet because I've not yet decided on how I'd like to measure my progress. I think I'll probably come up with a weekly quota of hours I'd like to spend reading. I think I want to avoid reading a certain number of pages, or chapters, or books because my mind might focus on that rather than what I'm reading.

To help reach this goal, I'm setting up a reading corner in my bedroom that will revolve around "The Reading Chair," for which I'm on the hunt right now. My house is currently adorned in the furniture I grew up with and other pieces that just showed up as a result of people taking pity on my abysmal seating selection and capacity for home decor. Being a bachelor, I've never intentionally sought out a piece of furniture in my life, and I'm already overwhelmed.

This chair has to be comfy, but not so comfy that I'm inclined to fall asleep (it doesn't take much). Unfortunately, it also has to be relatively small because the tight entry to my bedroom strips me of my normal furniture-moving maneuvers...the window may still be an option though. It's got to be broken-in, but not falling apart. Free or cheap wouldn't hurt either. Perhaps I'll need a pipe and a smoking jacket...but I feel like that's contrary to my running life. Maybe I'm just not committed enough to this reading thing.

Anyway, I've knocked out one book now and am determined to keep my promise to Annie Dillard to finish "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" by the end of this month.

As soon as I click "publish post," I'm closing up this laptop and heading straight to Salvation Army & Goodwill to see what their selection of Reading Chair candidates looks like. Should anybody have any suggestions, however, I'm gladly open to them.

Happy Tuesday!

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