I recently started a new initiative to keep active my pleasure reading amidst my studies. In fact, I have probably gone a little too far in this direction lately. Oh well, at least now I can justify pleasurable reading by giving a grandiloquent answer like the following as to why I read fiction:
In today's academic circles, reading articles and books is like eating rice cakes. Sure, they fill you up, strengthen you, and do the job they were intended to do. I, however, want variety. I'm not just talking about chocolate flavored rice cakes - or even the caramel apple crunch. No, no matter how much you doll them up, they still taste like old shoe. While a great book or article will excite the mind and feed the soul, it still tastes like old shoe. Now, I am sure that almost everything I write will also taste like old shoe (hopefully the original Air Jordans), but I also hope that every once in a while a hint of crème brûlée or pecan pie will waft in. For instance, my recent reading of Ray Bradbuy (Fahrenheit 451 and Martian Chronicles) was a fashion show of different tastes (see, I am still mixing metaphors...need to read more). Poetry was mixed painlessly into the narrative, like garlic into the soy sauce of a marinade. Humor and tragedy were sprinkled strikingly unevenly, like the slabs of chocolate in an un-chippy cookie. Worthy philosophy and moralizing were hidden under beautiful phrasing like green beans under a blanket of cheese. In short, I want to have a flavorful old shoe, one that at least has marinated in the juices of great literature for a few hours.