Friday, February 26, 2010
We'd finally gotten all the ice off the sidewalks earlier in the week, and I was starting to hear birds singing in the morning, and it's not dark out when I leave work anymore...and then another winter blast.
My primary urge upon seeing the snow blowing sideways was simply to go back to bed, preferably with a giant bag of cookies, and stay there until April. Or at least all day.
But my thoughts instead ran like this: I have a stack of midterms to grade...next week is going to be crazy-busy...I really need to get back to work on that article...the mailman has to work today, so why shouldn't you?
After an hour or so of feeling guilty, I compromised: I wouldn't go back to bed, but I would spend the rest of the morning reading Sue Grafton's U is for Undertow, which I'd started a couple of days before.
As it turned out, I couldn't put it down and ended up spending the entire day reading it all, finishing mid-afternoon.
It's been a long time since I read an entire book in one shot, and while it was a guilty pleasure, I had no regrets. Not only did getting absorbed in the story help me get through a day that started out feeling unbearable, there's just something so meditative and Zen-like about sustained reading like that.
When I posted something on Facebook about having spent the day that way, my friend Mike replied saying he had fond memories of spending a similarly snowy day reading Donna Tartt's A Secret History years ago.
I, too, remember other marathon reads with great nostalgia: Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone over a rainy weekend before final exams, P. D. James' The Skull Beneath the Skin on a cross-country flight. And of course, countless library books during childhood summer afternoons, which I consumed like potato chips while sitting in the butterfly chair on my parents' screen porch.
So, I thought I'd pose the question: what books do you all remember reading in one shot? And what kind of memories get conjured up when you recall that experience?