I like to read in my grandmother’s padded maple rocker. This shapely chair fits my spine and gives rhythm to my reading.
Mildred Lynch read in this same rocker for decades, right up until she passed at the age of 97. The chair, no doubt, had something to do with her longevity. Reading The Washington Post in it every day kept her mind agile. And her rocking, as imperceptible as it was, kept her blood moving.
I use the rocker now for its connection to her, but also for its industriousness. This isn’t a chair to doze in. It’s for reading and thinking and hanging out with Theo, my biggest fan. So I park it next to the fireplace and the small bookcase crammed with novels that have inspired me through the years.
Recently, I’ve been reading new ones like Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding, which lives up to its hype as an irresistible first novel about the humbling pursuit of perfection.
Yet I also often sit here, rocking with an after-dinner beer, leafing through old favourites and reading beginnings and endings of stories that moved me as a reader and shaped me as a writer, such as Ironweed, Clockers, The Color Purple, All the King's Men and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.
Jim Lynch’s new novel is Truth Like the Sun.