My friends know me well enough not to ask if I’ve seen a recent movie, or really any movie. My lack of movie-watching, however, is not a part of some anti-movie mindset. If people ask why I don’t watch movies, my answer is not quite what they expect: I get bored and restless. I suspect they assume (correctly) that I prefer books, and that my preference is the primary reason why I watch so few movies.
A non-negotiable has been if I start a book, I finish it. No matter what. Of course, I have fallen short of my standard, and in some instances, I have not finished a book on the first try. It took me four separate attempts to finish A Tale of Two Cities, a book I very much enjoyed when I read it in its totality.
For many years running, I have not quit a book, primarily because I choose good books and books that I want to finish. Last week, however, I quit a book at its midpoint.
Two Saturdays ago, my family and I painted our home office, its previous color a tired butterscotch. Before lunch, the four of us almost finished the first coat of a refreshing light blue, but we needed another gallon. I volunteered to pick up another can of paint at one of the local home-improvement stores.
While my “day job” is being a professor, and while I write in pockets of time throughout my week, I am also an editor. I edit the literary journal The Windhover, having just released the eighth issue. Beyond editing the journal, I have worked as a line editor on book projects, the most recent of which is the newly released Faith in the Shadows: Finding Christ in the Midst of Doubt by my friend (and my pastor), Austin Fischer.
It was 100 degrees on Friday afternoon when I was discussing with a colleague one of my favorite books: Silence in the Snow Fields, by the Minnesota poet Robert Bly.
He and I had recently agreed to start a mini reading group, as in the two of us. We wanted to pick things that one of us enjoyed and wanted to share with the other. I thought of Bly’s 1962 book, and I excitedly texted my friend.