I’ve updated my March reads to the 2010 Books Read List and am ridiculously excited about April’s reads.

My March total looks a little unbelievable, but keep in mind that several (including the massive Fall on Your Knees) were rereads, five of my fresh reads were super-skinny, and eight were kidlit (and all, save one, re-reads at that: super comfy): all that makes a difference in terms of how quickly those pages can turn.

Even so, when it comes to leisure activities, I am reading more than doing anything else of late.

I plan to keep this up through Orange Prize Season, through April and May, maybe even read a little more ferociously, but after that I think I’ll find the nicer weather coaxing me into other activities.

And I like the idea of reading a little more leisurely rather than feeling a bit pressed by duedates and schedules. How about you: are you reading comfortably or obsessively of late?

Nonetheless those schedules made sure I fit some short stories into March, unlike February, and I read books for eight (of twelve) challenges, finished two challenges (Canada Reads and Canada Reads Independently), and joined one new one (Once Upon a Time).

And they will chart the reading weather through many Orange reading skies whilst making room for a cooler, grey spell, a Persephone grey to be exact. I’m planning to start Vere Hodgson’s Diary for my April Persephone read, and read it in short chunks throughout the month, so that I can finish it for Persephone Week at the beginning of May, along with some other grey-spined lovelies. (Note: Persephone Week is hosted by Paperback Reader and The B Files.)

Overall, I think I’m happier, so far, with my 2010 reading than I was with my 2009 reading; I feel like I’ve managed to make room for a lot of reading that I have pushed aside many times (like Pat Barker’s novels and the Virago and Persephones I’ve indulged in this year), but I’m also aware that I’m not reading as many works in translation as I’d like to (largely because I’ve been enjoying so much Canlit, and only one book by a Quebecois writer in that mix) and I’m consistently pushing the non-fiction to the bottoms of the stacks (including the literary biographies that I’d hoped to read more of this year). So I hope the coming months will make room for some of these.

My favourite reading experiences of March were:

(1) Ninni Holmqvist’s novel The Unit (translated by Marlaine Delargey) because it commanded me in a way that reminded me of the nose-in-a-book reading I did as a child, stripping away the outer world, and left me thinking about the world a little differently (not happily, mind you, but differently), and

(2) Pat Barker’s novel The Eye in the Door because I had been afraid to read this trilogy and it reminded me that I should take that kind of risk more often.

For April, I’m most looking forward to Ethel Wilson’s 1956 novel, Love and Salt Water, because I loved re-reading Swamp Angel and found many delightful bits in her short stories this month as well.

How about you: what stands out about your reading in March and what are you looking forward to in April’s pages?