Dr. Thompson of the Theatre Department believes that there are no boundaries when it comes to finding a good read, and in his free time he and his family enjoy reading as a bonding experience. When asked what he’s currently reading for pleasure he mentioned Jimmy Buffett’s A Salty Piece of Land.
“It’s kind of an in-house joke. My wife, Sara, gave it to me once before we went on a trip to the beach. In all seriousness, it is an excellent beach read. It reminds me of the Gulf.”
In the theme of beach reading, recently Dr. Thompson was interested in reading something about pirates. Turning back to the classics, he picked up Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Dr. Thompson feels that there shouldn’t be such binding rules when it comes to age-appropriate material. He and his son often spend time together reading Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series as well as novels his son is assigned for school such as Ishmael. He laughs, “Books that you were forced to read as a kid are often much better when read as an adult…”
The way that reading can become a community experience is thrilling. Dr. Thompson not only shares his reading adventures with his family, but also appreciates the tastes of his colleagues. On a regular basis there is a dialogue going on between members of the ASC community regarding new writing and must-reads.
“It’s what’s great about teaching at a liberal arts institution. There are so many varied opinions and disciplines interacting all the time. On any given day I’m exposed to a variety of tastes, and lots of interesting recommendations.”
Dr. Thompson characterizes his reading habits as wonderfully haphazard and idiosyncratic. “It’s good to be curious. You won’t like everything, but it’s important to have some variety.” He notes that not necessarily what you end up reading for pleasure is most important, but rather the manner in which you decide which book to pick up that’s important. He advises others,
“Just go with whatever mood you’re in! Don’t read the same thing over and over again. You wouldn’t wear the same clothes everyday, would you?”