I have to admit, since completing graduate school last May I haven’t been able to read like I used to. This is one of the most frustrating things that I have had to sort through since I am the sort of person who takes pleasure in pouring over Shakespeare’s works to wax philosophical over postmodern and early modern concepts at war within his pages, or delve into Jane Eyre to ponder the constants and changes in morality and perceptions of virtues.

Honestly, not being able to focus on any given book for longer than two hours has become a problem. I long for book; I hunger for them, especially now that I actually have the time to read for pleasure again. And yet, have I been able to indulge that desire? No.

This doesn’t seem like a big issue, I know. And time, I have been told by everyone, will bring reading back to me. However, reading and books have been a significant part of my identity since I was a little girl. I recently had the pleasure of going through my bookshelf and sorting through the beloved volumes there. Admittedly, most of my childhood books have been shut away in boxes that I will dig out of the dust in due course, but a few special tomes still reside on my shelf amidst the adult novels, textbooks, anthologies, and other miscellaneous books.

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There’s nothing quite like looking at books that you poured over growing up. Wizard of Oz was a favorite, a rare American-author choice of mine. And then there are the other stand-bys: The Little Princess, Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, The Lord of the Rings, and Utopia, to name a few. (Do you see a trend in my childhood reading? I swear, I don’t.)

And so, I have started forcing myself to read. Not anything lofty or impressive (the book I’ve been struggling through lately has been me re-reading the entire Harry Potter series), but enough to get my feet wet. To go with that, I have taken up a challenge issued to me by a dear friend to read one book per month. My choice for January was Jane Austen Rules by Sinead Murphy: a light, fun look at love lessons for the modern woman in Jane Austen’s novels filled to the bonnet-brim with feminist philosophy. I give it a full 5/5 stars, and a must-read for all my single and not-so-single friends, both male and female. For February, I’m going for Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Everyone I’ve been talking to about books lately have mentioned Ender’s Game, so I figure I should give it a try. Despite the difference in genre and writing style, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it just as much as I enjoyed Murphy’s book.

The point of all this is that I am no longer going to let something so important to me and a large part of my life fall by the wayside any more. I want to enjoy the books on my bookshelf again, and for more than just decoration!

-Wilberforce

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