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Just enjoying the read

In last weekend's Wall Street Journal, Will Schwalbe has a fine reflective piece on the joys of discovering books that have been left behind by people using rentals during the summer months, when things do tend to slow down.
"The serendipity is thrilling," he writes. He lists numerous books and authors he has simply run across when his mind was free to wander. Maybe those times were in summer; maybe not. Regardless, he let himself have the freedom to explore something he might never have given a second glance at in the hectic day-to-day busyness of American life.
It has been rare for me to allow myself such whimsies. I'm the kind of guy who thinks he must fill up all the available hours with reading that turns into something useful -- a valuable insight to be reviewed and perhaps used later in a discussion, a fact that must be squirreled away for retrieval when I'm writing, that kind of thing.
A few weeks ago I kind of stumbled onto Jack London and borrowed a huge book of his collected works from a friend and fan. I was hooked and wondered why I had read so little of this wondeful writer when I was a young man.
I have not stopped there. From London, I have wandered into the territory of Louis L'Amour.
It's all just for fun. And I must admit I get a little guilty pleasure out of reading these slim volumes. But, they do seem to let my mind rest up, allowing me to let go a little and recede from the world of work where my brain seems to spend most of its waking hours.
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