It’s a cloudy, dark day today, though warmer than it has been. It’s quiet. Somewhere around 4pm, there was suddenly nothing else I wanted to do than read an old favourite, The Mayor of Casterbridge. At one point in my life I would have called this my favourite book. I don’t know why, but Victorian novels are so cozy and relaxing for me. I don’t want to claim that I’m some great fancy reader of Victorian novels, but I do tend to gravitate to them. In fact, the fiction section of my bookcase has Victorians separate from the rest, because for me, “I feel like reading fiction” and “I feel like reading fiction written before 1901” are two very different emotions.
My tendency to favour old books (and not just Victorian ones) is something that I didn’t even notice until a few years ago, when friends would ask me if I’d read the new So-and-So book and I realized I was always, always saying no. Sometimes even “I don’t know who that is.” It’s such a weird feeling to be an active writer, yet so woefully unaware of what’s new in the “industry.” I get all my news secondhand.
I’m trying to do better, though for some reason I still gravitate towards older books, “classics” or otherwise. I’m such a creature of habit, maybe that’s why. I don’t believe that there are “right” things for writers to read, but I do think I need to pull my head out of the past a little bit.
But later. Right now I have this book to make my way through, and it’s the perfect day for it too.