the one with the book

the one with the book

When I was young, you would be hard pressed to find me on any given evening without a book in hand. If I wasn’t doing homework or other such nonsense during high school, I was most likely holed up in my room, speed-reading some youth novel like sweet valley high or a thriller by John Grisham. In second grade, you weren’t allowed to rent books from the “adult” section of the school library, which I thought was the most atrocious thing ever (mostly because I wanted to read little house on the prairie books), so I checked out the thickest books with the most words in the kids’ section as many times as possible (hoping they’d get the hint, maybe). My bookwormish attitude was well known, and I was top reader many times in school, always got the book-it! Pizza pin full, and two boys in my class even timed me reading once (unbeknownst to me) and were utterly amazed at the speed at which I read.
But I haven’t read for fun in a long time. Oh, I tried. While I was in college, I would have to read the assignments, which meant I really didn’t feel like reading for fun, but I would inevitably pick up a book and read it. Sometimes I got lucky, mostly in chick lit, and I did have fun reading some, but in the end, they all end the same and follow the same progression in the story: intro, issue, angst, climax, end. I do enjoy CL to an extent, but sometimes a person can only enjoy so much.
Then there were the books that I pretended to enjoy, but were much too much work to get through, and in the end I didn’t really enjoy them. For instance, the wheel of time by Robert Jordan was good in theory, but after reading 5 books, each 800+ pages in tiny print, there has to be one heck of a plot to keep me plodding along. I’ve been reading book 6 now for about 8 months, and I haven’t picked it up in maybe 3. I think I’m done.
But school has finished, and no longer are my evenings filled with readings about comm. theories and how to weasel your way out of a libel suit. So I have started reading again, and variety is truly the spice of life. I just finished a wayyy too depressing memoir – liars’ club, until they bring the streetcars back, Bruce Campbell’s new book, and three books by bill Bryson.
I don’t know if it’s possible to get burnt out on a genre, but it’s possible Robert Jordan did it for me. Even though I love robin McKinley’s books with all my heart, it may be a while before I pick one up again. For now, I’ve focused on Bryson’s witty writing about his travels as well as other books Amazon recommends me so I don’t get burnt out on his writing.
Anyway, I forgot how much fun it is to delve into a book you aren’t obligated to read or don’t feel you should like. I do have a tendency to finish all books I start, even if they are the suxors majorly, but I can’t bring myself to finish the wheel of time. It will just have to sit there.
Reading is fun again. I know because I think about what I would rather do – dink around on the internet, watch TV, or read my book, and the book gets priority; books haven’t gotten priority over the internet or TV in a really really really long time.
This is invigorating to me, because reading truly is the muse for writing. How else do you learn a craft but through apprenticeship? Reading is apprenticing a writer. By reading different writers, you learn how to hone a sentence, proper grammar and punctuation usage, and how to create a voice. Wanting to read is the next step to me wanting to write, which, I’ve learned, is what I’ve wanted to do all along. Remember when you wanted to learn how to read when you were little, maybe 3 years old? I wanted to learn how to write much more than I wanted to learn how to read. But you cannot have one without the other, and my excitement for reading again excites me.
With that, I really have to get to my book.

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