This weekend, I ran into a member of the orchestra at Powell’s Bookstore. Not surprisingly, I was chasing after Mathis, who likes to run around from room to room and re-shelve the books. I was actually surprised to see a student there. I don’t think I’m the only professor in the world who wonders if college students in the new millennium read books in their spare time. After all, it’s much more likely that Mathis or Kaia will run into a classmate than for me to see any of my students at Powell’s. Everybody is so busy these days that I never imagine students in a dorm room sitting down and reading a book. (This is probably not true at all, right?) In my first year teaching at PSU, I gave my conducting class a reading list. I don’t think I’ve done it since, because I guess there were other pressing needs. Also, I have to admit that most of my own reading these days tends to be either Dr. Seuss or Pippi Longstocking. Each summer since coming to Portland, I’ve gotten into the habit of reading detective novels. In the fall, I feel like I want to read something more serious, and I always have a hard time figuring out what to read. Just now, I picked up a really great book that I want to recommend: Listen to This by Alex Ross, the music critic for the New Yorker. If you want some fiction instead, here are two perfect reads for the fall of 2010: Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse and Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. You are welcome to post your own recommended reading below.