As I’ve mentioned previously, as a child I always had a book in my hands. Pretty much until I was of driving age, I took a book with me everywhere I went. Then shortly after I started driving, I went to college. Any free time was spent on homework, reading for class, working, or trying to have some semblance of a social life.
Granted, a good portion of my classes were English classes, so I was still reading some novels and such. But still, I wasn’t necessarily reading what I wanted and I wasn’t ready NEARLY as much as I had the first 16/17 years of my life.
Just in the last year or two I’ve gotten back into the habit of reading, and I couldn’t be happier! I’m being taken to other places again… seeing pictures into other lives, fictional or otherwise. Reading can show you a different perspective. I remember reading “Caucasia” by Danzy Senna as a middle-school girl in rural Michigan… surrounded by faces that looked like mine… very little diversity… I obviously have no idea what it is to be a black woman in America, or a mixed-race woman. And reading that book gave me at least a peek into that life. A picture of what it is like. It gave me a little bit more understanding than I had before, than I was able to get from my surroundings. And I’ve been fortunate enough to never have been a victim of sexual assault, but reading “Lucky” by Alice Sebold let me see what an experience like that can do to someone’s psyche… the ups and downs they go through in dealing with it, coping with it. I still don’t know exactly what it’s like, because it hasn’t happened to me, but I have a better understanding of it.
And then there’s all the wonderful fiction that at the surface level is entertaining–mainstream/commercial–but still manages to tell us something about the human experience, about love, about family, about friendship. Sometimes I’ll pick up a book not having any idea what it’s about and it might not exactly thrill me, but it’s still another story in my arsenal. I may have read new words, something in the book may have sparked an idea in my own mind.
I just finished reading “The Infinite Sea” by Rick Yancey and “Anne & Henry” by Dawn Ius–both good in different ways. I’m about to start “Changeless” by Gail Carriger, and I can’t wait! I can’t wait to finish that whole series! But I’m also anxious to get through the Throne of Glass series and book two of the Tearling series. “Queen of the Tearling” got some mixed reviews on Goodreads when I first picked it up, but I liked it quite a bit. That’s why I don’t typically pay much attention to reviews on books. Books are so subjective!