Happy spring. This year apparently marks the earliest spring in over a century. The vernal equinox happened on March 19 or twentieth, depending where you live in the northern hemisphere. Spring is about many things to many people. For me, it’s about yard clean-up, restarting the composter, the Easter weekend, the end of the academic year, and most of all being outside, walking, and reading.
Alberta has seen a mild winter, so I haven’t felt as caged as I normally do by this time of year. Nonetheless, the sense of freedom that comes with walking, especially in the evening, is one that always takes me a little by surprise. And, of course, I’m not the only one out there. People are out walking, biking, and running—all exhibiting the intoxicating possession that overcomes those who look eagerly for signs of spring.
Reading and walking is something I do all year, but going for a walk in a spring evening is a far cry from navigating ice and snow on my way to catch the train. And when I say walking and reading, I mean playing audio books on my MP3 player as I tramp around the neighbourhood. I know of people who walk while reading a physical book, but this strikes me as a more dangerous form of distracted walking. I listen to my books, which I recommend to anyone who wants to be outside and reading.
I always try to keep a new book on the go, but I also tend to reread more than most people I know. A good way for me to both reread and read something new is to read everything by a single author. A few years ago, I decided to read all of the dune books, which meant everything by Frank Herbert, but also everything by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson took it upon themselves to write prequels for the Dune books, as well as a conclusion to the series. It kept me going for most of a summer.
This spring and early summer, I’m thinking either DouglasAdams, Terry Pratchett, or Patricia McKillip. Pratchett might be the most challenging of these three because of the sheer number of Disc World books. But whatever I go with, I’ll be happy to be walking and reading as the spring unfolds. Get out and enjoy the lengthening days.