For years now, I've rarely read novels or any sort of fiction. If I've read at all, I've prioritized non-fiction, especially books that build my knowledge on some useful topic, help me grow as a person, or are otherwise "productive" in some way. Reading has mostly been a tool to better myself and advance my life goals.
Over the last month or so, something has shifted. I've let myself read novels again. And I'm loving it.
I could go on about how edifying and "productive" reading fiction really is. Somehow the wisdom that comes through fiction is uniquely potent. And I find fiction stirs my imagination and creativity in ways that non-fiction really hasn't. New parts of my awareness flicker on and deepen my own writing and perspective on the world.
But most of the growth in it for me has been in simply doing it for the fun of it, no productivity required.
Perhaps a new life goal is starting to come online for me: to care a little less about my life goals, to just enjoy being here, to revel in those little flickers of joy, beauty, and wonder wherever I can find them.