2005_07_artsswann.jpgCall us pretentious, call us perverse, but Gothamist likes to read cotton-candy books in dreary, braindead February and big, fat, serious novels in the summer. We once dreamed away a summer with our nose buried in Swann’s Way; we loved it so much we were ready to move on to the second volume of In Search of Lost Time, but then it was fall, and everything was busy, and we no longer had lazy long hours to devote to Proust.

We remain exceedingly fond of him and his work in our nerdy heart, however, and Saturday will be rainy--perfect reasons to visit the Mercantile Library during its Second Annual Proust Fest. In conjunction with its Proust Society, the Library hosts an all day reading of "Swann in Love" on the day before Proust’s 134th birthday (and you were bummed about turning 30). The event costs $5--Payard madeleines and tea a bit extra--and though the website says reservations are required, the library tells us you can probably just show up. 10am to 11pm; the Mercantile Library is at 17 East 47th Street, and reservations can be made by calling 212.755.6710.

Read the crib notes online if you want to impress potential Odettes, or read How Proust Can Change Your Life if you prefer something lighter in the summer.