I have a confession.
Recently, I organized a book club to meet with NWC friends and keep reading. I knew I needed accountability.
As an English student, and student of life (hahaha), I know reading is an essential tool for a full life. It is a way to explore and learn about paths and options to take in life. It’s a way to avoid the “hard way” of learning while gaining more depth on topics than one could muster from his or her own life. It’s about sharing experiences and teaching, about sorting truth from lies, logic from…non logic. It makes me better at Scrabble. I’m not up-to-date enough to have a smart phone with Words with Friends.
I even dream about reading to my kids today and avoid reading (like Harry Potter) arguing that I’ll read them when I have kids…
But when I pick up a book on a hot afternoon to escape the heat, I get an urge to go for a run. When I try to knit as I read, I suddenly gain an intense focus on my knitting to see if I can discover a new pattern for a few rows. I could read at night to calm my mind, but why not problem solve my real problems and calculate my average income I make on commission-based work one more time? I could spend some time in a bookstore–but Michael’s is always having canvas sales. Then after a few chapters, I want to give my eyes a break. I want them to span distances–something majestic, tangible, real to me.
I don’t enjoy reading.
I enjoy gaining information, stories, the depth of knowledge coming from reading. I enjoy the smell and look of books and even book bags. But I can’t stand dropping all hobbies just to read.
This is very bad. Especially for one who graduated with an English degree.
It wasn’t always like this. I don’t remember a single math class in highschool that I didn’t read other fiction books during. By sixth grade, I had read all of the American Girl, Anne of Green Gable, and Babysitter club books. I couldn’t read enough!
Since then, my tastes have matured. No–I don’t dig into Shakespeare, Bronte, or even Tolstoy much. I discovered that I like “muti-ethnic” literature and many memoirs–which may not have appealed to me had I not taken classes on them.
There’s just something about the syntax in some books that makes me itch. Or the dialogue was read twice because of absent tags. Or I begin to count adverbs or how many paragraphs start with the same word. Then some characters become flat and boring.
Perhaps I have an editing bug.
Perhaps I have an addiction to working with my hands.
Is there a cure to better reading habits??
What’s worse? The few good books that did manage to consume me have spoiled me for movies. I am disappointed with nearly every new release movie or TV show I watch. Chick flicks are lame. Even movies based of books–like Twilight–fall short. Very short. There is no character development anymore.
What am I to do? Jog up to a hill and knit?