I stopped reading fiction in 2004, the year I started grad school. There was so much school-related reading to do and I felt SOOO behind everyone else that I couldn't justify reading non-work related texts. That is not to say that I did not enjoy what I read for school. Being swamped with readings was by far my favorite part about graduate school. It is just that I stopped reading novels. I got so used to reading with a pen in my hand that I continued the non-fiction trend even after I graduated in 2006.
When Kyle and I were in Philly for our failed but totally awesome Honeymoon, I asked Ashley to give me a book to read. The title he came up with was Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. The book was great and so totally moving that it jerked me out of my fictionless existence and set me on a path of me more Sittenfeld, and Zadie Smith, and Richard Yates, and Miranda July, and Flaubert, and well... others.
Reading fiction is still overwhelming. Mostly, because I am in constant disbelief over how much I enjoy it and for how long I went without. It is overwhelming because there are too many authors that I have never heard of, and classics that I never read when I was supposed to (like, in high-school)... and I just want to sit and read read read all the time, but that is obviously not an option.
But I keep telling myself to calm the fuck down and stop thinking of this reading business as a competition I need to win. Instead, I just read with no order and no shame and ask EVERYONE for recommendations. And I ask you, too! When you read a good book, please remember to tell me about it.