I don't miss commuting to work at all, but I miss the time I spent reading when I commuted. And I've been using my free time differently too; walking and running more than sitting and reading. I miss reading — that feeling when a sentence comes off a page as something that's part of you but of the world, so wholly personal but also independent from you.
Fall is built for many things and books count among them. I received an e-mail from Corbel Stone Press yesterday announcing Reliquiæ Volume Three is available for pre-order. This little volume is always a treasure (as is everything from Corbel Stone). I highly recommend pre-ordering yourself a copy too.
Also winging its way to me is a copy of The Long Gaze Back, edited by Sinéad Gleeson. This anthology of 30 short stories features 8 classic and 22 living Irish women writers, including: Elizabeth Bowen, Maeve Brennan, Mary Costello, Maria Edgeworth, Anne Enright, Mary Lavin, Eimear McBride, Belinda McKeon, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Anakana Schofield. All work by the living writers is new and previously unpublished.
There's also a new David Mitchell coming that I'm pretty excited by. Mostly, though, I'll be working through books of past seasons and rereading some I've already read. And I sort of like being out of step with all the reviews and thinkpieces on The Millions anyway: There's value in reading in a vacuum, I think, and stepping from one book to another gently, in a way that flows rather than races to keep up.
I suppose I struggle with notions of book-reading as a list to be checked off, with thoughts tweeted or shared on Goodreads. It turns a larger experience into a mere accomplishment. And sometimes I think the race to finish is the least enjoyment to be had from reading. (I also struggle with "best of" lists for the same reason; they turn a smooth melody into Morse code.) So, I'll just be here, contentedly ambling along behind everybody else. Paddy-last, as we say at home.