A former reading whore discovers books again

The seventh Harry Potter book came out and I spent the day in the hammock at our then-campsite. It took me ten hours to read it in its entirety. A week later, I read it again.

In a time before I had a cellphone and my own personal computer(s), I read. A lot. I had a designated book backpack that I wore while riding my blue Huffy to the library. I read through many a Boxcar Children and Goosebumps. When teen fiction became relevant, I coasted through novels by Ann Brashares and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Lurlene McDaniel was another favorite, as was Laura Ingalls Wilder. I accrued library late fees, but either managed to pay them off or just avoided the library for awhile. The fish obviously weren’t biting on days I only brought home three books to read.

I won an award for reading the most books during sixth grade (52), but that part of me died when college classes began. I can tell you –– thanks to my Shelfari page –– I’ve only read 27 books in the three years I’ve been a metaphorical slave to schoolwork and story writing.

Now I’m trying to reignite my intense appreciation for books.

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Since Christmas, I’ve read seven: “A Prayer for Owen Meany,” “Divergent,” “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” “The Thank You Economy,” “Cartwheel,” “Thirteen Reasons Why” and “The Fault in our Stars.”

I’d like to read more.

My parents rarely said “No” when I shoved a book in their faces as a kid and asked them if they would buy it. Now I’ve applied the same rule to myself. If I want to read it, I’m going to order it on Amazon (I apologize to those lovely small, independent bookstores out there).

Last month, I ordered “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green, “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker and “The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood. When I saw my professor’s newly published –– and first! –– novel in the school bookstore, I picked it up and purchased it without a second thought.

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Check out “Mapping Utah” in the middle there by Denny Wilkins. He’s been a huge influence on me in terms of personal and professional growth. Gosh that sounds fancy.

While Green’s novel did make me tear up, I think I’ve grown out of teen fiction. I obviously couldn’t relate to Hazel’s situation (though he did make it seem real) or her thoughts on dating and, well, boys. I’m past those awkward teenage years and don’t really care to relive them.

I’ve nearly finished Walker’s book full of characters who have positively sucked me in to their stories. I really liked the female protagonist in “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Atwood when I read it for my post-apocalyptic literature course, so I’m sure I’ll have no trouble with “The Blind Assassin.” It came from a recommendation made by the comedian Rob Delaney:

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People think I’m crazy when I say I don’t have time to watch TV. I’d rather pick up a book and continue from my bookmarked spot than try to follow the excessive cumulative shows on the tube.

Procrastinate no more

All of my classmates are complaining about the Anthology that we got assigned. This massive project is homework for three months(?) and due in May for every sophomore class that passes through my high school. My oldest brother did it, my middle older brother did it, and my youngest older brother did it. It includes reading, analyzing, interpreting, and relating to pieces of literature that you as a reader and individual appreciate. For me? Easy as cake. For my classmates? It’s just another assignment that they can whine and stress over. I’m enjoying every minute of it.

The day it was assigned I went home, dug out my poetry books, and then proceeded to read every single poem in my Emily Dickinson book, my Romantic Poets book, and my Robert Frost book (again). I bought an Edgar Allan Poe (Major Tales and Poetry) novel, and got started on that as well. I made a checklist, and have been in deep thought about every work I want to add in ever since.

I have a good ten or eleven works done already (I have a system where I type in school, copy and paste it into a wordpress draft, and then copy and paste from the draft into a document on my computer – VOILA!) , and they are already compiled into sleeves in the order that I currently want them in and are settled into my draft binder. Just last night I stayed up until three in the AM working on a work that I suddenly had a brilliant idea on. It’s three pages long (and the minimum requirement per work is two paragraphs – hehe) and I am extremely proud of it.

My Anthology is going to be awesome. I can already feel it. I have my title, I know what’s going to go on my title page, I have my chapters named, and now all I have to do is fill in the gaps with  more works. I’m organized, I’ve been looking forward to this for six years, and I believe that I am better off than anyone in my class. Bring it on, Anthology.