Reading is probably my favorite activity in the world and always has been. In fact, it’s so important to me that I notice I’m less happy when I get busy with other matters and let reading fall by the wayside. If I schedule time for pleasure reading as I schedule time for business and family activities, I read more. So one of my goals is to spend most evenings between 8 and 9 reading with my family.
Junot Diaz’s “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” has been on my very long reading list for more than a year, since a close friend and my husband read and recommended it. Before I’d even finished Diaz’s 7-page introduction (complete with footnotes on the history of the Dominican Republic), I was hooked. Diaz breaks a few rules–and breaks them very well–by, among other things, writing in Spanglish! His energetic, honest, in-your-face prose reminds me of Sherman Alexie’s, whose “Ten Little Indians” and “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” my husband and I both enjoyed and admire immensely. Now that I’m on chapter 2, I’m finding it close to unputdownable and can’t wait for 8 PM.
Those who, like me, find it hard to squeeze time in for pleasure reading might like to take advantage of DailyLit. The site, http://dailylit.com/ , has a number of books, short stories, foreign language lessons, and other offerings available by daily e-mail installments for FREE. You can read for a few minutes each day or save them up and read several together. If you find yourself with more time available, or you just can’t wait 24 hours for the next installment, you can have the next one sent immediately. And if you get too busy even to read one e-mail a day, you can suspend the service for a while and tell it when to resume sending them to you. I recently finished the 12th and final e-mail installment of one of Alice Munro’s short stories from her recent collection, “Too Much Happiness.” No affiliation with the site—I’m just a happy reader.