I almost never read fiction…probably because I spend most of my time daydreaming anyway, and labor over every piece of fiction I read looking for some “hidden meaning.” My favorite works of fiction have such vibrant, engaging plots that I don’t even have to think about the hidden meaning behind this or that episode. Every event slides smoothly into the next, and by the end of the book I find myself right there in the action, empathizing with the main character.
That said, I do occasionally get bitten by the novel-writing bug. Mostly when I feel like there is something I really have to say, but I’m too afraid to just come out and say it. Faced with the realization that my physical chemistry research is losing steam and that organic is my true calling, I find myself in such a situation right now. I’ve staked a lot on my semester’s worth of physical chemistry research, but I love organic chemistry. It is, without a doubt, the one thing that I could do and unconditionally love for the rest of my life. At the same time, I just won a scholarship for $3500 to do physical chemistry research over the summer. I wouldn’t dare just quit! Not after giving up on chemical engineering the way I did (walking out on a $15/hour co-op).
I need a new research project. Fresh meat.
Anyway, when I do get bitten by the aforementioned bug, I always read more fiction. I picked up a good one recently, The Water-Method Man by John Irving. Highly recommended for anyone in college having a tough time with the transition between carefree adolescence and responsible adulthood.