Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Back to school blues

No, I haven't decided to ditch my career as a literary agent to go off and get another degree, but I do admit that flipping my calendar to September inevitably turns my thoughts to higher education. There are days I miss taking classes. I suppose I'm a creature of habit in that, after sixteen years of living on an academic schedule, I automatically expect fall to bring sharp pencils, spiral notebooks, and reading lists. Not just any reading lists, of course, but those designed for an English major, with big, fat literary tomes suitable for using as door stops. The leaves change colors and I dream of Dostoevsky and Proust and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. These are the books I love to read when the weather turns cool and everyone else's thoughts turn to football games and Halloween costumes. Nothing makes me happier than curling up under a throw on a chilly afternoon with a thick book and a cup of tea and maybe some buttery shortbread.

Then I moved to Los Angeles. Yes, people go back to school here. I get the UCLA Extension catalog in my mailbox as proof. And people think of football games (though not my friends) and Halloween costumes (definitely my friends). But the leaves don't change color, and the temperatures tend to hover above ninety until the end of October. Not exactly the type of weather that encourages tea-drinking.

And yet, my well-conditioned brain still shouts "Back to school!" The other day I found myself checking out Rosetta Stone, an online language course, despite my lack of time for such an undertaking. Last week I went to Staples and restocked my office supplies. And my weekend project? Reorganizing my bookcase, with the serious unread books all on one shelf... or maybe two, for easy access, and the fluffier, summer reads toward the bottom. But this afternoon I'm headed to the grocery store for tea and shortbread. Because I'm ready for a book binge, no matter the temperature.

What about you? Anyone else find certain times of the year affect your reading habits?


Blogger Knitty Yas said...

Once i took a british literature class at the CC in Valencia. Yeah, yeah. thats in So Cal. Anyway, Every time fall starts, i think of that class, because the teacher was this crazy kooky old hipster that smoked cigars in class even though she wasn't supposed to. she would rasp at us, teaching us middle english so we could read Chauser "The way it's supposed to be read!" even now, years later, i break out in middle english when September comes.

its not the weather, because its never really a hardcore winter where I am now, but its the month that sets it off.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 at 11:54:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Julie Ramsey said...

It is the month that sets it off! I *heart* my Complete Works of the Bard!!! :) I want to get into a bit of Wordsworth or Coleridge. Glad to know I'm not the ONLY one who dives into my lit anthologies when Fall comes around!

Thursday, September 7, 2006 at 9:41:00 AM EDT  

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