Thursday, July 26, 2012

15) Find an "important" book that I haven't read and actually read it

I'm a big reader.  I read daily, almost without exception.  I have a thirty(ish) minute bus commute each way Monday through Friday, and Scott and I read before bed for 30-60 minutes almost every night.   I don't discriminate on book topics either - I like everything from sleazy romance books to Jodi Picoult to John Grisham.

(My latest obsession is for the Dirk Pitt series by Clive Cussler.  I got hooked on him in May, and am on my sixth or seventh book in the series out of about twenty.  Scott and his Dad read the series, and when I was desperate for a new book, Scott handed me one.  I can't say enough good things.  It's like Indiana Jones on the sea... I'm not selling it very well here, but they are exciting and interesting and I may name my firstborn son Dirk Pitt Special.  This is how much I love the character and the series).

All this to say - I've been dreading this goal.  I enjoy reading books.  I like to read.  And I shouldn't have included a goal that forces me to read something I don't want to.  (I'll admit, I have exactly zero desire to read Pride and Prejudice, or the Tale of Two Cities, the books that sprang to mind when I concocted this goal.  Zero).

I was talking about this to my cousinfriend Christine the other day (on gchat, obvs) and she sent me this, a letter to the editor disagreeing with the notion that some books are better than others when it comes down to it:

Re “Some Books Are More Equal Than Others” (Sunday Review, June 24): Claire Needell Hollander notes that while a 13-year-old may be entranced by “The Hunger Games,” he will not gain any “verbal and world knowledge” from the series. But she misses the point: The reader is learning that a book has the power to entrance, something that new readers need to learn and all readers need to be reminded of occasionally.

Being reminded of the joy of reading, particularly after a school year spent reading books that may not have entranced at all, is of huge value. While it is surely good if readers of all ages are also learning life skills or global politics or ecology, no teacher or parent — or indeed, reader — should discount the value of reading for pleasure.

It is a hobby that can be at least as entertaining as television or Angry Birds and yet is being discarded by many who are made to feel that it must always be work.

Yes.  All of this.  I already like to read and do it for pleasure.  I've decided to consider this goal achieved - who's to say that the books that I have read this year aren't important.  Not me.

Hiding from Reality by Taylor Armstrong
Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielsen
Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
Anatomy of a Disappearance by Hisham Matar
The Mistresses Daughter by A.M. Holmes
Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family by Catherine Hooper
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree. The students in my class with the highest ACT scores are those that just read. It doesn't matter what they read, in fact most of them read smut (one title was "A Pimp Marriage" really) but the point is they read. I hate when people judge others for reading something that they think is smut or below them.



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