Friday, January 9, 2009

Literary Fever

I've become the kind of person I've always hung around and have even been raised by. And no, I'm not talking about Republicans. I've always had this condition but now it's become so severe that I can hardly go anywhere without carrying one around so I can get my fix, like my friends in Texas would. I'm talking, of course, about books, and the condition of being a bookworm.

Yes, I've always loved reading, but I was usually bad about setting aside time to read. Sometime this past year, or maybe just semester, I've become voracious. I devoured the Poisonwood Bible in six days and ran to Borders for more. Now I'm nearly halfway through Reading Lolita in Tehran and I'll have to coincide this with The Best American Non-Required Reading of 2008 in between the other one's chapters so I don't breeze through it and end up depressing myself.

It isn't that I love classic literature or things they teach in school— I hated Hamlet, Heart of Darkness and those damned Canterbury Pilgrims (which we had to memorize the old english text of- what bullshit is that?). No, I just love a good story. That's all anyone loves. Oprah's book club be damned— I'll trade literary merit for an enticing plotline any day.

When my friends in Texas bragged about speeding through a book a week, I would often roll my eyes and think "you think you're so smart, you smart-alec showoff bastard" while silently admiring them at the same time. And I've always admired my dad for the way he reads every day, in his peaceful, ceaseless ritual, even though his books are always beefy he-man novels about war and spies and exploding helicopters.

But maybe it was something about having lots of spare time that made me want to read more. Maybe it was realizing that people SHOULD value reading and learning things. Or maybe I was lonely, so I would turn to books instead of people. Most of all, though, I think I started reading more because moving to the city, completely changing my life, left the need for me to fill a void, to ground myself in something I could always turn to. And that thing is books, I guess. I've always loved them, but now I dig them more than cupcakes. (Sorry, cupcakes).

Now I'm not lonely anymore, and I have a handful of good friends and a giant family in the cast of the show I'm in right now, who are all really fun to be around. But I still look forward to going home after a long day of rehearsal and dinner with people, and [after watching an episode or two of South Park online, which is my other addiction but totally isn't as good blog material] curling up somewhere with the story of rebellious Iranian women who get together to read illegal Western classics.

This entry probably sounds totally pretentious and lame, like some bookish nerd who thinks they're smarter than most people. Well... I am a bookish nerd. The good thing is that most everyone I hang around with is smarter than the average rabbit too. So it's okay.

One more thing, though. This is unrelated to being grammatically elitist. That's a whole nudda entry. Baahaha.


P.S. I only disliked Hamlet. Not hated. Sort of.


Jennifer said...


I'm didn't like HAMLET? I demand a reread!!!

Kate said...

I didn't adore it. Twelve essays and three horribly dull movies later, that is.

Tracy said...

I knew all those hours in the glider rocker reading and rereading Big Red Barn would pay off!

:) Happy mum

Frosty said...

I have this secret fear that, what with video games and the internets and everything, the children of tomorrow will not grow up to be readers. I am a huge reader. I think people who don't read are totally lame and I don't trust them. I read about a book a week and have since I was a little tiny kid. My husband reads even more than I do and we often re-read books we've read dozens of times because we don't have anything new to read. I'm glad you're a reader. I will have to check out those books you mentioned. I just finished 'Emperor's Children', 'Digging to America' and 'A Dirty Job'. Next on my list are: 'The Red Tent' and 'When You Are Engulfed In Flames'. So excited!