There’s something about a cold snap on a weekend, even a Superbowl one that makes the world feel calmer and I read, unashamedly whatever I want.
I read an interview with a woman somewhere where she said proudly that’s she’s too busy to read, that she can always find something more worthy to do around the house, either a new project or finishing an old one.
I fear that many people feel that way. Reading seems so yesterday unless you’re reading about finances, how to improve yourself, your house, your world, or the scandal of the day. It kills me that reading isn’t considered to be a worthy activity.
I remember being 20 and trudging Doris Lessing’s Martha Quest books that I discovered in London, around the globe. I still have many of them and I consider them priceless. As I do so many other books.
One Friday night in 1982, I bought Robert Caro’s The Power Broker about Robert Moses and my world changed forever. Things I had always taken for granted: New York’s highways, parks, Jones Beach and JFK Airport took on new meanings. I had heard forever that Moses was a despot, but after reading the book I began to see him as a very flawed visionary.
It was an amazing weekend, one where I cancelled all appointments because I couldn’t stop reading. I would hate to consider learning and thinking “a waste of time.” I would hate to think that I should have bad memories of that weekend because I wasn’t being “productive,” when most of my weekends were spent at clubs, bars and parties.
I have always been an exceptionally fast reader. My friends made fun of me for reading so much, in between work and social engagements. Now they wish that they had read more for their children’s sake.
But they find it just fine that their kids have no interest in anything that happened pre-1990.
Maybe the language of IM’s will be the language of tomorrow, but it’s not the language of today unless I slept through the official changes.
Language is important to me. Using English to maximum effect is something that I strive for. Maybe I’m striving in the wrong direction.
Celebrities used to say in one page interviews: I knew that I had made it when; I could afford my first hardcover book. It was true. There was something special about knowing you could afford to buy a hardcover book.
Now with book clubs, Amazon and the like, I no longer get that feeling.
I think how wonderful it is that many people can afford to buy hard covered books. I just wish more people did.
I discount libraries because I live in Manhattan where most are understaffed, have short hours, and frankly most of the books aren’t in very good condition. I would love to be able to talk about libraries as my sister who lives on Long Island does.
I was told, the other day, I’m not a real blogger because I’m not easy to comment to, don’t moderate comments, don’t do contests or pretty images with one sentence captions, and totally miss the message of the medium.
I thought that blogging was whatever wanted it to be, but again I must have slept through the rules mandatory meeting.
Yesterday I spent the day reading mysteries. The ones that I like have flawed heroes and layers of psychological undertones. I considered yesterday a gift to myself when it should have been something not unusual.
Since I have been blogging, I have lost the focus needed to explore other peoples worlds except in a blog post, and that is a shame. Like many bloggers I seem to think in 30 second or 60 second sound bites though my writing might take longer to read.
I’m not apologizing for writing long posts. I might apologize for writing unedited posts, but blogging felt like an ideal medium to let it all out.
I was probably wrong. The Wombat sent me a blog where all the posts are a hundred and one words. I might try that with 250 words.
I was always a reader. It was one of the best parts of me.
I brought books to read in Cancun, including The Last of her kind, fiction, by Sigrid Nunez, about two girls who graduated high school in 1968.
I liked it much, and realized that the protagonists and I had entirely different 1968’s though we all lived in the same geographic area and, in real life, might have even known some of the same people. We all bring our selves into the books we chose to read and/or write.
Reading inspires me. A good or great book makes think and want to discuss them. Trashy books make me realize that I can write something better. I try to read them in the bookstore. All books make me want to write.
We seem to have a mass feeling about books; that anything else is more worthwhile. I don’t know one kid who reads for pleasure. That makes me so sad as books can transport, can make us feel emotions we didn’t know we were capable of.
I wrote about being a lonely eleven year old girl who discovered A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and the lesson it taught me
It also taught me that other eleven year old girls through time have felt the same way.
Maybe computers teach many skills, but I don’t think the Internet is a place for a lonely girl to cry, at least not now, when children and many adults, really don’t have the judgment to know if the person or people who responds are sincere or frauds, and if they are sincere, is the advice that they are offering good or bad?
Books, great books and A True Grows in Brooklyn is one, show you rather than preach as so many advice books do today. I read A Tree…so many times, I began to see all the grammatical flaws, but they really hadn’t mattered the first ten Christmases for it was my holiday book.
I read it each year though I was no lonely because it made me remember that very flawed girl who was bored one day and picked it out of her parents library. It made me want to continue bettering myself, and other things I can’t quite articulate. I still feel flawed, but no person worth knowing is flawless. Books taught me that.
Many books bring me to places that I can’t quite articulate, and that is good for it both leaves mystery in my life and emotions to be understood.
Books comfort me I have always defined myself as a reader yet in the past two years I have mostly read books that satisfy not the soul but the “better myself” mode. It took me until yesterday to understand that reading simply for pleasure is bettering myself and I need not feel shame if I read books
that satisfy my craving to be transported into worlds, not mine.
We want children to know everything, to fit in, to be ready to be an adult in a competitive world and there’s little or no time to read for pleasure in that mindset. I find that unbearably sad,
I thank winter for finally coming. I’m not a cold weather person, but earlier this winter realized that I longed for real winter to come so that I could read and not just before bed.
The weather is a separate issue and yes I long for Al Gore to run and become president as he should have been in 2000.
I’m trying to keep the feeling that I had yesterday, that it’s OK to stay home and just read, all year long.
When I was on vacation I felt guilty gong to my room and taking a book to the terrace when I should have been doing.
Reading is doing. We tend to forget that. I will always love blogs for introducing me to other peoples world in a more immediate and different way than books.
Books are my passion, and let me never forget that. Let me never believe that reading is superfluous to just about anything else.
I apologize if this sounds preachy, but that interview riled me so much. Can’t reading be as much a hobby as knitting? I truly don’t understand the mind set where reading is a waste of time. Seems to me that if we really want kids to be free thinkers, understand how history affects our every day lives, and have good judgment we would encourage them to read books.
I used to be elitist about Oprah’s book club. Not anymore.
My apartment doesn’t have heat and I was into many layers too realize it until I went to take a shower before going out. I live on a street my friends sort of affectionately call the wind chamber. It takes stamina just to walk to the next corner. Hate it when people glamorize New York without realizing how hard it can be to do basic errands when you live near no store and almost have to hold onto the buildings to walk that last pivotal one third of a block.