by F. Solomon
It might be surprising that I am just reading Lolita for the first time, to others and to myself. I have spent so much of my life frequenting bookstores that I know authors and books that I have not read simply because they caught my periphery. I knew who Anais Nin was even before I started reading her because she was close to Nabokov. I purchased Lolita years ago; it was on my ambitious pile of to-read books--a tiny Tower of Pisa in my place--that I have not get around to reading. Inspired by my friend, my used copy purchased for practically nothing was carefully removed from the pile.
Talking with him about the The Pregnant Widow which he had loaned me, he mentioned that he could not finish Lolita. I had to know why so I have been reading the book for a few months. Not because it is a bad book, but because editing occupies most of my reading time. I am an Acquiring Editor of erotica for Ravenous Romance.
The Pregnant Widow marked the return of me as a reader, and Lolita has cemented my return to reading for pleasure. Once when I was in college, I was told that you could tell New Yorkers because they are the only people who read so avidly on the train. I cannot deny it. It is not very often that I read at home, but I have always love to read on the train going to and coming from school or work. Sometimes a book might be so good that I do have to read bits at home, but for the most part nothing like squeezing between two strangers on the train and reading a novel so good you miss your stop!, which happened to me with a Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’ novel, Forever in Your Embrace. This was right after 9/11 so it was hard not to think about what was going on but that book was able to keep me so rapt...there is nothing like reading a novel that engrosses.
Nothing like reading for pleasure or editing good erotica, except writing yourself. I have been doing so much reading I have wanted to...but in ways have abandoned writing. This post is one of the few things that I have written unless you count my tweets and how many words are in tweets?! I did some free writing and that felt like a luxury, like I should have been reading something instead! Writing for me is like breathing or bleeding though--necessary for life. I do not berate myself anymore about writing or not writing. It is too much a part of me, it will be….
It was completely pleasurable today on the train out of the cold and squeezed next to just one stranger reading Lolita, which I have been careful not to talk about because I am not done with it. Will need another post called Finishing Lolita when I am done....
photograph by F. Solomon