For a while, I didn't understand what had happened. After last year's Blopathon, writing every day had me pretty jazzed up. Not as jazzed as the first one, mind you, but jazzed enough. Apart from that month, however, it's been a struggle to post more than twice a week. I spent some time wondering why this is when it suddenly hit me, like a Larousse Gastronomique to the face: I don't read enough books.
I used to, a lot. But then a funny thing happened after I had children: Whenever I cracked open a book, within 10 minutes I would pass out (and occasionally wake up in Connecticut). I can't get into a narrative because I have the damnedest time prying my eyelids open. I tried reading during my commute, but it's blessedly short (and sardine-like) enough to make it not worth the trouble. So I'm reduced to reading in smaller bits, from magazines, or newspapers, or blogs--or from comedy compendiums like "I Am America" or "Our Dumb World"--mostly on the commode. And that's no way t0 live.
Then I saw yet another article about yet another census report telling us that the percentage of people who read books for pleasure keeps on declining. And, more importantly, that when people don't read their imaginations start to atrophy, and they become sedentary couch slugs who stare blankly at front-load washing machines. Or yell at Simon Cowell. Or vote Huckabee.
That piece was the kick in the ass I desperately needed to get me back on the bookwagon. The boys and I are reading almost every night (Robert has taken a shine to Encyclopedia Brown), and I'm actively looking for the Next Great Literary Thing. So I've joined Good Reads and loaded up my little box on the left column with a few of my favorite books, the kind I could read over and over. If you're a member, or thinking about it, or just waiting for your next parole hearing, I'd appreciate it if you go ahead and friend me. Because if there's anything we as a society need, it's more social networking.
In the meantime, I resolve to re-re-pick up that $%#@$% Chabon novel and finish it. Even if I have to start buying Red Bull by the case.