If you, like me, are looking forward to some reading this summer, let’s embark on this ill-fated journey together. Will we achieve our reading goals? Almost certainly not. Will we still enjoy the act of resistance that is leisure in a society that values only productivity? We must — or perish.
Back in ye olden days, I spent my afternoons maxing out the book limit at my local library and my evenings traveling to Oz or Narnia for hours at a time. The table by my bed perpetually labored under a precarious stack of novels that always seemed to grow higher. But soon enough, that library card spent more and more time inside some drawer or another before I eventually misplaced it. My nightstand heaved a sigh of relief as the pile of books dwindled to nothing.
Somewhere between sixth-grade’s The Giver (which I enjoyed) and twelfth-grade’s Hamlet (which I skimmed before the exam), I put down leisure reading for good. There was no more time for such things, I reasoned.
Laura Larson ’85, an Ithaca High School and Cornell University alumna, moved to Ithaca at nine years old. She recalls her love for reading and frequenting the plethora of bookstores available in Ithaca during her childhood — because of this, she dreamed of opening a bookstore someday.