The First of Fall?

Autumn Bouquet

And so it is September.

Very technically, the change of seasons, from summer to autumn, isn’t for another few weeks, but once we reach September, in my mind it is here–school has resumed (for those still living by its seasonal schedules); the light is both less and of a different (different, not better or worse) quality; the autumn harvest starts to come in, apples and squash and pumpkins; footballs (of the American variety) are starting to tumble through the air. So much says that a change is afoot.

And it’s finally starting to feel like autumn is just around the corner; since yesterday, it’s been cool and rainy (very rainy – hello tropical storm Gordon remnants). Although, only last weekend it seemed as if summer should never end, so hot and humid it was once again. And the forecast promises more heat and sun soon.

I’m tempted to say, “where has the summer gone,” though in reality I know quite well. It’s gone to work and other busyness. August is a little more mysterious – I know the workload wasn’t as heavy as earlier this year, and my evenings weren’t as full, yet it feels like it vanished quicker than it should.

Cleveland Musuem of Art Atrium - Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

I did indulge in a rare moment of spontaneity to take the opportunity to visit the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art (there through the end of the month, before moving to Atlanta, I believe). It’s a very hard ticket to get, but a coworker had a spare, so I found myself at the museum on a Tuesday morning, taking wonderful advantage of both a lovely day and my employer’s wonderful flex-time policy.

Work-wise, I also participated in a round-table discussion about pay equity in architecture. It was really interesting to me, hearing the different experiences and perspectives of women (and a few men) of various ages and experiences. There was a definite emphasis on “know your worth,” but there was also discussion – what do you do if you find out you aren’t being paid fairly? It’s one of those sorts of discussions where you don’t necessarily come out of it with answers, but I think a number of tips were shared for how to advocate for yourself. And the point was also made: compensation is about respect–if you are underpaid, it shows a lack of respect.

But as far as reading…August was not such a good month. I only finished two books, one of which was primarily read in July. And neither was my Classics Spin book. I guess this is in part the consequence of being in the middle of one real doorstop (Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell), which although quite enjoyable is taking its time. Similarly, the Spin selection, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, although not really that long (about 400 pages in my edition), is not a fast-paced book. I find that reading about one chapter in a sitting is about right, and of course I haven’t been able to get to it every day. I really want to get both books finishes this month, though.

Ideally, I’d read even more than that, though looking at my schedule of plans for the rest of the month, that’s over-optimistic. But with the coming of the fall season I’m feeling myself pulled towards some “seasonal” reading – I’d like to get to The Woman in White this year (it’s on my TBR Challenge list after all), and it’s feeling like the right time of year for The Farm (Louis Bromfield). Plus I’d love to sink into some quick-paced mysteries–I started the year with Agatha Christie and have been hankering for more who-done-its ever since. But these plans are probably all for October. But I always like to have goals – something to reach for, something to push me.

And you, any seasonal reading plans?

Holmes County Trail - View of trail and farm fields

6 thoughts on “The First of Fall?”

  1. “reading about one chapter” – I have found that books have their own pace, their own sense of time, and as enjoyable as it is to read a real page-turner, it is similarly enjoyable to let a book move in whatever way seems natural. Travel books really do this to me – the whole point is that there is a journey, that time is passing. So I let it pass.

    Whenever a chapter in The Custom of the Country, which I am reading now, begins “Two weeks later,” or “Two years had passed since” or whatever, I know that I can let at least one day pass before seeing what happened.

    1. My books this year have definitely been teaching to me to read at their pace, not mine. It’s sometimes hard not to resist this lesson, though, with the desire to finish or make progress, but I’m learning to have multiple books on the go to combat this.

  2. We’ve just gone into spring here & I’m still ploughing through a couple of books I want to finish, although I’ve lost a bit of interest. They’re not door stoppers but just hard slog. I was thinking of starting Woman in White. I need some light relief – although I don’t think it’s light?? But the mystery/crime factor is always enticing.

    1. I don’t know which is more frustrating – finding a short book a “hard slog” or a long one – at least with the long book, you expect it to take a long time to read! I’m not sure about Woman in White – I’ve never managed to make it past the first few chapters, but the other Collins I’ve read have flown by. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mind-frame for The Woman in White before. This year, I’m determined!

    1. I haven’t read Dr. Zhivago, but I saw a TV miniseries – the story seems compelling, but I have no idea what the book is like – good luck!

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