07 November 2012

on reading


i love reading. and i do it prolifically. did anyone watch gilmore girls? i always identified with rory's reverence of her bookshelves' organization and habit of tucking books into her purse when going to parties. to me, it's less a hobby and more a dedicated routine routine. it calms and stills me, fires me up, or stirs me -- in short, every book (or article, or dissertation, or thesis, specifications ad infinitum) i've ever read has changed me to some degree. and those changes, i really believe change my life -- the ripples are mandala-like, circular, but somehow unbound & infinite. 

at some point during college (in balancing school and work and internships) i started to pity myself and say i didn't have time for pleasure reading on top of the 300-400 pages per day for school-- but did i spend time on facebook or blogging or doing anything else? certainly. i vowed to never make that excuse again, ever. even if i had a 70 hour work week, or if my commitment to reading for pleasure meant i could only squeeze in 15 minutes on a lunch break. i decided it's as worth it to me as showering and eating. and that absolute commitment seems to be the only thing that's worked consistently.

i read anything & everything. memoirs, novels, poetry, encyclopedias, textbooks, guides, essays, flash pieces, all of it. i'll always relish a new edition of america's best essays, and i'll always be waiting for jeffrey eugenides' next novel. i think salman rushdie is phenomenal. jonathan safran foer can do no wrong. i'll always love jeannette walls and annie dillard and joan didion for their terse, sweet, and unsentimental prose. i can't get enough of hemingway.  i could re-read a portrait of the artist as a young man a thousand times, and i've probably read a certain page from the great gatsby close to that many times. i am constantly thinking about the first line in swann's way and the last line in catfish and mandala. 

i'm so grateful for books and our ability to experience them in the truly multifarious ways we do. with that, i think an unfinished book is calling my name… 

25 comments:

  1. I love reading so much, books are probably one of the most constant things in my whole life. Reading every single day, however, is not something I try for because I get so inextricably caught up in a book that I can't do anything else. I read through a series of books last week, and I swear I didn't cook or clean at all. Every break at work I was reading and I stayed up way too late. Reading is an uncontrolable addiction for me, I suppose.

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  2. I'm the same. I love reading, I always carry a book around with me..'just in case', you never know when you will need a good book! x

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  3. Man, I love reading!! I'm in a complete lull at the minute where I'm telling myself I have no time to read. I actually loved commuting because I had chance to sit and read. Now I walk 5 minutes to work!!

    Here's to spending my lunch break finishing the 3 books I have on the go, and not searching eBay or reading the same news article over and over.

    Chloe
    Www.bythelock.com

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  4. What a beautiful, perfect post. Your love of reading make me feel a little guilty about the books collecting dust on my bedside table. I love to read, but my excuses for not getting to it are endless. You're an inspiration.

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  5. Amen sissta! I am with you! I loooove to read, hints why I love reading blogs so much :) I always have a book in my purse, and it travels to my nightstand at night and back to the purse every morning.

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  6. How funny to read this post today when I finally bought the 7 new books I've been eyeing. I'm turning on the instrumental music and turning off the computer to get some read-time in. p.s. rory is the greatest and purses are to be bought in measurement of how many books they would hold (my current one is a small one-booker).

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  7. i truly love this post, and i love your decision to commit to something you love - how rarely do any of us truly do that? what a gift! and just fyi, i am watching gilmore girls right now! i've always thought i'm a touch more lorelai than rory ;) i met alexis bledel last year while she was in a show here and that was the only time i've ever been starstruck in my life.

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  8. I love jonathan safran foer, especially eating animals. It's my fave. I also love barbara kingsolver, l.m. montgomery, and douglas coupland. In fact, I'm re-reading some childhood favourites right now. Happy reading!

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  9. The only TV show worth not reading for is Gilmore Girls. Still.

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  10. @kelly maloney: "purses are to be bought in measurement of how many books they would hold" -- love it!

    @kerry: you met alexis bledel!? i would sob. my best friend and i watched through all 7 seasons while in college and she has so much in common with lorelai and i have so much in common with rory -- it's almost scary. it was our fun inside joke. : )

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  11. @mel: ha! i love it! i'll have to do a post on favorite gilmore girls moments…the reference seems to bode well with everyone here. : )

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  12. Annie Dillard is amazing. The way she captures raw emotion... so painfully beautiful.

    I almost feel like reading is making a comeback. In the blogger world anyway. I worried for a bit when I was a teenager that I was the only reader my age. Thankfully that's not true.

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  13. i swear i have a problem, i just don't have the attention span, but maybe once i'm done with school it will come back, fingers crossed!
    also love these pictures and your pup!

    K

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  14. I use the same excuse, too much reading for school to read for pleasure... I just might have to retire that one and pick up a new book :)

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  15. I love reading too. Can't tell you how many times I have stayed up late reading after my kiddos were in their beds sleeping. In college I would hurry to my classes early so I could sit down and read a few pages before class started. Whenever I see someone's bookcase I just assume they have read every book in it :)

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  16. Pretty sure we're twins. <3 <3

    I met Jonathan Safran Foer and it is still something I can't talk about without almost crying. Ha! You are so right - he can do NO wrong!

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  17. I used to love reading, it's all I'd do. Now I seem to have less and less time for it, and that makes me really sad. I really need to get back into it, because when I do it just makes me so happy. Also I loved Gilmore Girls! x

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  18. oh how i love gilmore girls.

    and i love reading too and sometimes get out of the habit of reading far too easily, so at the moment my aim is just to read at least one chapter a day and i love that time of the day.

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  19. Ah I absolutely love Gilmore Girls! That's one of my favorite shows! (Although I don't like to watch any behi d the scenes stuff on it anymore because it annoys me that Alexis Bledel is nothing like Rory. She said she didn't know what they were talking about half the time. Their pop culture references was one of my favorite things about the show.) every once in a while I marathon through the seasons though. :)

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  20. I love Gilmore Girls! It is my favourite show. I started carrying a book around like Rory and trying to get through her booklist. I am currently in University and I find it difficult to read for pleasure, I always feel guiltier when I read then say watch tv because I could be reading something for school instead.

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  21. I absolutely love Rory. I love reading too but I wish I had a love of all books like you. My favorites books seem to be such a rare brand. I have a hard time committing to a book in fear that it will be a flop and a waste of my time.

    kbramall@blogspot.com

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  22. this is inspiring. I spend way too much time on my blog and not enough reading

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  23. Ugh I love this!! I'm just trying to find a new book to read .. Have you heard anything about Gone Girl? Seems interesting!

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  24. First of all: I love that you love Gilmore Girls. I own all seasons and still rewatch them endlessly. It is like an addiction. And second, there is nothing better than a love of reading. I have been reading so many books lately, it is simply the best.

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