Autumn is starting (here in the US, anyway), and kids are heading back to school–does the changing season change your reading habits? Less time? More? Are you just in the mood for different kinds of books than you were over the summer?
This kid has headed back to school, that's for sure, and you can bet it has changed my reading habits. This summer was a time of luxurious indulgence. I could read whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted - more than 25 books from June through August. That meant lots of fiction including Netherland, the new Margot Livesey, the new Tim Winton, the new Charles Baxter, reading Man Booker winners Rose Tremain and Allan Hollinghurst, Sasa Stanisic's wonderful How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone, re-reading some Chiam Potok and Don Delillo, discovering the fiction of Bernard MacLaverty and Robin Jenkins, as well as some books on how the brain reads. See my side bar for links to all those posts. Now classes have begun. It's not that I am reading any less, au contraire, but suddenly my on-going reads fester - Daphne Beal's new novel is taking me a couple of weeks to read, Middlemarch is likely to take me until the end of the year, and books I want to read on neuroscience take a back seat to my assignments. This is the reading you never hear me talk about. Books with titles such as: From Molecules to Networks: An Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience or Principles of Neuroscience - this is one of the classics in the field. Neuroanatomy Through Clinical Cases, or on the psychier side of my classes Diagnostic Psychological Testing or Development of the Rorschach Technique. That and loads of articles every week. This weekend was taken up by The Contribution of Psychoanalytic Theory to Psychological Testing, Interaction of Dynamic and Reality Factors in the Diagnostic Testing Interview, The Development of Cortical Multisensory Integration, and Action-Based Body Maps in the Spinal Cord Emerge from a Transitory Floating Organization. Forget images of hot spiced cider, soft comforting sweaters, and walks in the russet leaves and think: twice as much coffee, a new knapsack, and purple patches beneath my eyes. Am I in the mood for different books than I was over the summer? No, not particularly, but they won't help me pass my test on Friday or get my research into the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. And you?