I don't like bookmarks. Oh, it's not that I have anything against pretty little pieces of cardboard decorated with kittens or flowers or birds: it's that I don't like to stop partway through a book and come back to it later. When I have only a few minutes to read, I'll pick up a book I've read before, choosing some random bit. New books, I prefer to read from cover to cover, in one gulp.
When I was a kid, I loved that in the summertime I could stay up late reading as late as I wanted. I could begin a book and read right through to the end. I could disappear completely into the pages — and stay there. It's still one of my favorite things about summer: whether it's a book I'm reading because I might want to use it in a course or a book I just picked up because it covers one of my favorite topics, I have the space and time to read a book all the way through without interruption.
So as the semester ends, I begin cleaning my office, tossing away outdated memos, filing stuff for next year, getting rid of the papers that have piled up on my desk. And then I look eagerly through the stack of books on the floor, all those wonderful pages that will keep me company all summer long.
What I'm reading in this photo is the latest issue of the Antioch Review, which features a short story by none other than Artist Friend.