Every writer I know, when asked how to become a writer, responds with one word: Read. – Marilynne Robinson

6 – that’s the number I come up with when I conjure the list of books I most want to read or finish reading at this moment. 5346931877

Flight by Sherman Alexie

Nightmarriage by Chad Thomas Johnston

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Every Day a Beautiful Change by Katherine Willis Pershey

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

If I included all the books stacked on the little table that sits beside my night stand, which is also stacked with books, well, the list would be much longer.  Plus, there are the books on my Kindle that I’ve yet to finish.

It makes me calmer just to think about all the promise in those pages.  Books are things beyond my control – things I love having beyond my control. I can enter worlds and just travel along – no decisions to make (Choose Your Own Adventures always stressed me out, and I read every ending), no responsibility to bear, no burden beyond the weight of the book in my hands.  It’s like a huge, chocolate-dipped, vanilla, soft-serve ice cream in a waffle cone that a kind stranger gives you on a hot Virginia day.

And with summer ahead, I’ll read more.  I always do – a pattern long-ingrained from years of summer reading programs at local libraries.

In fact, P and I are going to go for a week to a quiet beach cottage on the Chesapeake Bay. No internet. Little sight-seeing. Just cool breezes, hammocks, and books.  P has even suggested I pack a whole suitcase of just books (you can see why I’m marrying him, right?)

So today, when the weight of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life weighs heavy enough to bring me just to tears – my desire to have it be successful and to find a cure so great – I am going to soak in a hot tub with a good book – probably Marilynne Robinson’s When I Was a Child I Read Books and breath.  All weight born by the water and the great tub desk P also got me.

What about you? What are you looking forward to reading? Do you read more or less in the summer?