Anyway, suffice it to say that it's been a while since I've read this voraciously. Recently, I've gotten into the habit of becoming briefly obsessed with a particular author or subject, and I create a sort of side project for myself. A few weeks ago it was Susan Sontag. I started with Against Interpretation and Other Essays (which I have yet to finish, although I'm almost done) and then read I, Etcetera and On Photography. I checked out a stack of others from the library, but now that that obsession has somewhat dwindled, I don't know if I'll get to them before I graduate and have to return them. Then I moved on to books of essays on David Lynch's films (weird transition, I know), of which I've read two and have another that I still want to get to. And now, it looks like Stephen King has become the reading obsession of the week.
Sadly, I think it has to momentarily come to an end, for a few reasons. The first is that once I get started on one of his books, I become glued. I make up excuses to put off studying and projects, and I sit and read. As the semester is quickly dwindling away, I can't afford to give up my time as freely as I have been, despite how tempting the prospect sounds. The second is that my sleep is important to me and I have a feeling Pet Sematary is going to keep me awake tonight. (It's sort of a paradox, though, that I consider horror stories that allow me to sleep comfortably afterward to be not scary enough. It also seems necessary to point out that as scary as Pet Sematary was to me, and I realize maybe I'm a bit of a wimp, it was even more saddening and heartbreaking.)
Despite these apparent drawbacks to giving myself over to reading, I do owe these little obsessions a lot. If I'm too busy being absorbed in a writer's theory or just plain terrified of the story, then I forget to be stressed about imaginary life crises brought on by my looming graduation. I'd rather not be able to sleep because I'm scared of a novel than because I'm scared of not knowing where my life is going (as cliched as that sounds). Maybe it seems weird or a little wrong that the process of reading has given me something that seems more tangible (and often more valuable) than the here and now I sometimes try to ignore.
After writing that just now, I remembered something else Stephen King wrote:
It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.