Posted January 9, 2013 under Extras

Reading Memory

Recently spent some time going though old slides that were taken by an aunt who died several years ago.  I found this one of myself reading on top of a stack of bales at my grandparents’ farm.  Took me back to a time when I read, it seemed, almost every minute that I was awake.  I read library books and every book we had in the house, including my dad’s entire set of Zane Grey westerns (the book in the photo is The Thundering Herd) and the books in my grandfather’s Reader’s Digest Abridged collection.  As all writers do, I still read voraciously but I don’t think I ever experience that total absorption in a book that I did back then.  I have no desire to lose myself in a Zane Grey western now, but why is that same experience apparently not there for me in a good and challenging contemporary novel that I admire critically and enjoy immensely?  I’ve heard other writers say the same thing.  Maybe we go more deeply into our own imagined worlds, and it’s then impossible not to compare the two experiences of writing and reading.  I don’t know.  Just thinking.  Stricken, perhaps, by the evil nostalgia.