Friday, February 7, 2014

Resolution: Read Daily

I used to be a voracious reader of fiction.  One of those hide-under-the-covers-with-a-flashlight kids.  I couldn't do sports (asthma) and I wasn't much good outdoors (allergies), so I read my adventures instead.  I was also prone to reading I suppose, having started rather young.  I taught myself how to read, essentially by memorizing the stories my mom read to me, then "reading" them to myself until somehow the whole thing clicked in my head.  Peter Rabbit.  I remember.  And after a bit of searching, I found the edition I had.  

It is for sale at Fancy Fig Leaf, where I found the image

I taught myself to read with that book.  Thanks Wallace C. Wadsworth.  Ain't that a pip.  The internet, I love it so. 


Mom gave me Jane Eyre when I was in 3rd grade, & guided me through all the classics. Dad used to read us The Raven (very dramatically, it should be noted) and encouraged us to read Twain. It made upper level literature classes rather easy-- I had already read Shakespeare and Hawthorne and the Bront√ęs. I read the classics young, then re-read them over and over as I got older. You know a book is truly great when you get something new out of it every time you read it. Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There is great for that. I've amassed quite an Alice collection over the years. I have dozens of copies from all eras. My prized possession is a 1st edition with the illustrations of Arthur Rackham (1907).

In high school I was a big fan of Watership Down and Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide and Dirk Gently.  I got into Vonnegut and DeLillo in college.  I liked pseudo philosophy and books with layers of political and social commentary.  I was deep yo.

In grad school I read a lot.  Copious amounts.  More books than I imagined possible.  We are talking fifty books plus a semester.  A combination of 175 books and scholarly articles for my thesis alone, written over the most intense 7 months of my life.  I read historical accounts and the essays and works of historical figures.  Revolutionary SuicideThe Age of ReasonSteal This Book.  On Civil Disobedience.  Those books and others literally changed my life (I love a ferocious rebel whatever the era).   Fascinating, exhausting and smashing grand stuff.  Real people.  Real life.  Actual events.  So wonderful. So powerful.  I wallowed in pages and pages of books.  Reading became purpose driven. I had an appetite for what I could learn from books, a scholarly snobbery.

And somehow it ruined me for fiction.

The last fiction reading I did was the graphic novel series Preacher.  A year ago.  I liked it.  But I don't know if it exactly qualifies as reading.  There are words, and there are a lot of books in the series...

My husband is a big fiction reader.  Sci Fi and fantasy mostly.  Right now its the Dresden series that has him curled up with his kindle late into the night.  So this resolution is mostly for me.  Don't get me wrong, I still read quite a bit everyday (it sorta comes with the job).  But I aspire to add in some fiction, read daily, even if only for a few minutes.  I figure I will start with something old and comfortable, then move in to uncharted territory.  I just downloaded Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul to my kindle.

I seriously welcome suggestions.  Please.  I have been out of the fiction loop for a while.  I'm not much in to romances or dramas, fair warning.  I don't like romantic or dramatic films either-- just doesn't nab me~*

So.  Read any good fiction lately?

*Contrary to how it may appear, I am not getting compensation, encouragement or kickbacks from Amazon.  I just thought someone might be interested in the books I was listing.  You are welcome~*

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