Recently my fire for books has vanished. My goal to read a lot of books since getting out on summer break in May has just been……not. But I realised one of the reasons for my unhappiness as a book worm.
I’ve been forcing myself to read either things that are academic, or things that are more serious, or things that are “popular,” or, in my quest to read some of the books I’ve had forever, I’ve been telling myself I have to read the books I’ve had for a while before starting the ones on my shelf that are newest to my collection.
All of this is bullshit.
Please tell me, bookworms of the universe, since when did we make strict rules for reading? Wasn’t the point to just find a book that hooked you, deep in the gut, and then read until our eyes fell out and we couldn’t read any longer? Wasn’t the point to sniff the pages, to read as if we were starving and books were the last piece of bread, or the only piece of meat?
Wasn’t the point to just go and read and not worry?
Not. Try. To. Prove. Anything.
That’s what it used to be for me: reading for the sheer pleasure of it. Getting lost in a world and reading for hours. Having my legs or feet fall asleep because I’ve been sitting in the same damn position for so long.
Fucking reading whatever I want.
Fucking hell when did it get this complicated?
Since when did it become a chore or even a source of arrogance or pride to be a reader?
I think, being an English major, and doing this academically and professionally gets you in the zone for very serious, very focused, and very strict study of books. And that can be fun! That’s why I want to be a scholar! A professor! I do LOVE it!
But that isn’t supposed to put out the fire, and usually, it doesn’t.
It’s our minds that do. We become arrogant, because we are applauded for our book smarts. Thus, we begin to feel as if we need to stay on top, need to remain “the bookish one,” or “the smart one,” or “the one who reads all the time.”
In my case, it was being the one who read the difficult stuff, and it was being the one who read really fast.
That’s not why we read, dammit!
Who gives a care if I finish a 300 page book in two days or five days? Who cares if it isn’t Shakespeare but some YA trend? Who cares if it IS Shakespeare?
The question that matters is: does it make me feel something? Do I like it? Do I want to keep reading?
If it were about to be burned on the pile of books, if it were about to be destroyed because of some maniacal ploy for censorship, would I be willing to burn for it?
That’s what matters.
Stop restricting yourself. Stop beating yourself up. Go read something. Go read whatever the hell you want. It should be a commandment: Thou Shalt Not Read Boring Books. Or, ‘Thou Shalt Read What Pleases Thee.’
Read something that reminds you why you started reading in the first place.