We all fell in love with reading at some point. But in the workaday grind of our lives, finding pleasure in reading is all too rare. Still, every now and then, it happens. You pick up a book, maybe it’s hot off the press, maybe it’s got that familiar musty smell because it’s been on your—or someone else’s—shelf for years. You open the cover and start to skim. Something slows you down. And there it is: you remember what it feels like to want to read every word. Perhaps you’ve been writing criticism for some time, or you are just starting your career as a critic, and you read a monograph or article that makes you see the things you study in an unexpected, exciting, and challenging way that you know will be in your work for some time to come. This novel or poem, monograph old or new, visual work or work of theory, feels transformative. And you have that feeling again: everyone should see this! You want to share.
The section of J19 titled “Pleasure Reading” will feature brief (3,000– 4,000 word) essays about a text—visual or artifact, literary or critical, old or new, material or virtual—that brought you pleasure and which you believe will bring pleasure to others. Submissions should focus on the content of the text as well as its significance for other readers and should convey the terms of your enjoyment. These are not book reviews. They are accounts of books, articles, images, objects that have influenced your writing, your thinking, or your living. They need not be of contemporary works but may be from any period of time from “the long nineteenth century” to the present day. The editors are seeking pieces that are thoughtful, inventive, enthusiastic, and above all, fun to read. Be pleased, and please share that pleasure with the journal’s readership. [End Page 5]