autumn is for sports. harvest. excursions. arts.
here in japan, there’s a tradition of setting a theme for the pleasant season, a purpose towards which to funnel one’s renewed energy and focus. this year, mine is this: autumn is for reading.
i used to be an avid reader, but that all changed when i became a mother. my reading time steadily diminished, and combined with the hassle of ordering english books and the barrier that kanji presented in reading japanese books, i found that i had even lost the desire to read, for the most part.
and though it’s easy to declare that i’m going to read more, it’s not as if my free time has increased, and shaving what time i can from this and that amounts to very little. so i hit upon the idea of using ‘in between’ time by reading while standing, like browsing at a bookstore, except at home. i started setting a few books in different parts the house to pick up for a few minutes as i pass by. not the best way for deep, involved novels, but perfect for short stories and essays that i enjoy these days. the kitchen is especially great– that time waiting for the pasta water to boil, stewing veggies, grilling fish, all can be put to good use. just gotta be careful though, not get too absorbed unless i want my meals really ‘well done.’
while i still need a dictionary on hand while reading in japanese, i’m now able to absorb the story from the general flow of the language even when there are lots of unfamiliar kanji. reading is becoming fun and exciting again… just like those teenage years, when i’d stay up until the wee hours absorbed in novel after novel.