Buttons began reading the Sacred Canon at age 8 and has re-read it completely once every year, either in the winter or the summer, ever since. This year is the 62nd re-reading of the Canon. But, he also re-reads all of the Thomas Hardy novels every fall; all of Dickens every winter; all of Christie’s Poirot every spring; and all of Kenneth Grahame’s novels every summer; plus other things around the edges, such as Solar Pons and Luis Borges in recent years. He has maintained this routine for over 38 years. As such, he seldom ever emerges from the 19th century and almost never is outside British literature, the only exception being his constant reading and re-reading of the ancient Japanese and Chinese poetry he studied at university and the collected poetry of Wallace Stevens each year.
The process of reading, for Buttons anyway, requires a large, comfortable, over-stuffed chair, a footstool, and a proper floor lamp over the left shoulder. A chair-side table is a requisite, in order to manage the coffee, and apple or two, the bowl of nuts, or the odd adult beverage. A black, round #2 pencil and a half-sheet of foolscap is there also in the event a note needs to be made, or a quiz question comes to mind. In fall and winter, a throw is added for the warmth that often precedes the inevitable nap.
Now, what about you? What are your reading interests and habits? Who would care to recommend an author or two who provided you with great pleasure and enjoyment over the years? What is your number one favorite book? Buttons can never read The Hound of the Baskervilles enough, but admits his favorite book remains The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.