Monday, October 10, 2011

Can't give up....until now

I have always held the printed word on a pedestal. I mean c'mon, someone had to think what you wrote was worthy of being printed and distributed; especially a book. Relax, I realize this is an outdated concept but it was one that was hard for me to break away from.

Books were a big deal in our house. We bought many, rummaged for them, collected them, got them autographed whenever possible. Authors were sought out not rock stars. Although, I do remember standing in line very young for Big Bird's autograph. I think I got a yellow feather as a souvenir.

So in part because of all of that, we took care of the books. We used bookmarks. We did not fold corners down to save the page. We did not write in them or underline anything in them. We had a small memo book where you could jot anything down and refer to it when you wanted. You could even put that sheet of paper in the book but don't write in the book.

It was also ingrained in me to read the whole book. I would complain, it's boring. Finish it, it gets better was always the response. I don't understand it all, I'm confused were other excuses to put the book down that I tried. Only to be told read the whole thing and we'll talk about it. It should explain itself by the time you are done.

With all that forced reading of entire books during my childhood, I was ill prepared to stop myself from reading a book that simply doesn't engage me. I'm all grown up now and I would force myself to read the entire book because well, its got to get better right, it will explain itself soon. But there are some books that I just don't understand why anyone bothered to waste their time coming up with all those thoughts and wasting all that paper. Seriously.

Recently, I let myself stop reading a book. Granted I was already 100 pages into the book but I was beginning to avoid reading altogether and decided it was the material not the pastime. So, I stopped. I felt guilty. What if this was the chapter that it all turned around? Oh the stress. I forced myself to pick up another book and oh, no here we go again. This one is not working for me either. That's two in a row. Is it me? What am I going to do?

As a pre-teen I was forced to sit and read but I sit and read now all on my own with no one making me for pleasure. I can't imagine not reading books. So, I let myself stop again. Now I study my To Be Read shelves carefully. Please let me pick a winner. I don't know if I can handle a third strike. I cautiously pick an author I have never read, critically acclaimed, and recommended by friends. Here we go. Oh my, praise the monks who transcribed the first bibles, I'm hooked. I picked a winner.

I didn't strike out. It's not me it was the book. So, at this stage in my life I am still learning. Life is too short to waste on a bad book. I don't have to read the whole book because seriously anyone can put something out there to be read these days. I'm just saying... ;)

1 comment:

Hilda said...

Yesssss! I've been telling you this for years. I allowed myself to believe it when Librarian Super Hero Nancy Pearl said so. She's a librarian!

As to the writing on the margins and underlining passages - that's one of the things I miss after going to the dark side and getting a Kindle. And yes, I can underline and make comments on the Kindle and it's actually more efficient because you can always find your notes. But still...