Stop the presses! Earlier this week, I read a book for pleasure for the first time since I started my research. For those of you not keeping track, I’ve been working on my bio of J for around three and a half months. After reading three books in just over 24 hours, I got on OverDrive to find more relevant material. Instead, I came across West of Eden: An American Place by Jean Stein. It looked good (and unlike anything to do with my own book), so I checked it out, reasoning that I could probably dedicate enough time to finish it in the allotted three weeks. Mission accomplished the next day.
Don’t get me wrong: I adore the entire exhausting, frustrating, illuminating research process. It’s truly my idea of fun. Sometimes I sit around gobsmacked that I get to have this amazing adventure.
Yet, I had no idea how much I missed staying up late reading a just-for-the-hell-of-it volume. Or thinking about it upon waking. Needing to finish it as soon as possible. All of those factors led to that mad, magical rush of concentration. Brilliant, isn’t it? Balance restored itself. A good lesson, and one I won’t forget.
Do you give up pleasure reading during a project? Why or why not?