The lower threshold alternative is right up my alley. I used to read a lot. I used to read every spare moment. My atrocious kitchen history is in part, because I'd be too deep into my book to smell the smoke, or hear the pot bubbling over. There were years when I could not wait to get home and pick up my book again. These were the years where my yarn work was reserved for in front of the TV like normal folk.
The last several years my reading was cut dramatically. By the end of a work day, my eyes were too tired to focus in on the tiny letters in a book. On weekends when I did read, the end result was a page before I fell asleep. I went from many many novels a month to one or two, and finally down to 1 or two novels a year. When I did read, I tended to read history and biography.
In my first year participating in the contest, I read, completely, just one novel (but I knit a lot) This year, in the first week, I read one novel, and am on to the second. I am hoping to do one per week.
The first book I read this year was 'The Year of Wonders' by Geraldine Brooks. I'll be reading this again. And again. I have always read good books over and over and this is a very, very good book. It takes you right into the life of the heroine, into her sorrows on losing her children and seeing her village decimated by plague. In the epilogue you sit, resting as surely as she does, and rejoice that those sorrows are over and that she is in a better place.
My second book is by Tracy Chevalier, "Burning Bright'. I loved 'the Lady and the Unicorn' and 'The Girl with the Pearl Earring' is a better book than movie (and it was a wonderful movie). My biggest problem with the book is that I have not read William Blake. Or if I have, I'm not putting the poet and the poem together. I really ought to fix that though if the book is good, the book will inspire me to fix it. It may yet be a compulsion to know this poet.
I'm well on my way to completion on the last of my series of Fan Neckwarmers. Much as I enjoy the knitting of them, its going to be nice to move forward. I have a sweater to finish, I have a ribwarmer to finish. I have colourwork to play with. There is the ever present desire for lace. I don't want to give up my knitting time for reading, but I miss my reading.
This may be the year I leave my Luddite tendencies and get an Ipod and buy books to 'read' while I knit. It makes sense. I'll never be able to focus on knitting while reading. It is enough eye strain to just knit some days. But knitting while listening to a kind soul read? I think I can do that.