“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”
― William Faulkner
I used to read a lot more pre-internet. Before the winter of 2009, I was using my computer only to write papers and play solitaire. And then the internet happened, along with Facebook, Twitter, and every other time-wasting social network. My reading habits dropped off considerably after that. Last year, after discovering that I read just 16 books in all of 2011, (I am still a little ashamed about that) I set a challenge for myself to read 100 books in 2012. I’m happy to say, I’m on track to complete this task.
Currently, I’m really into essays by humorists, books about Christianity (especially about the more ‘charismatic’ aspects), and Russian literature. (I’ve only read 6 fiction books this year and 4 of them were by Russian authors.) The others were teen books, fairy tales, and classic children’s lit, like Peter Rabbit.I didn’t realize how much I missed reading until I started doing it again. I’d forgotten what it was like to completely lose myself in a story, become outraged with the characters, and to laugh out loud at a witty observation or a hilarious adventure.
I was an insecure and shy little kid, so reading was my escape from reality. I had no idea how amazing reading could be when used as a supplement to a good life, rather than the sole reason for it. When my eldest nephew, Buddy, was born I bought him so many books that he needed two bookshelves just to hold them all. He couldn’t read at all at the time, but–much to my delight–he loved books.He discovered video games at age 7, and I feared he was close to becoming a non-reader. That didn’t stop me from buying him books; I just looked for ones with information about cars, sports, and of course–video games, so he’d have something to read.
Finally, at age 12, his love of reading reignited. Last month he asked me to purchase the Wimpy Kid Movie Diary, “Because it’s the only one I don’t have.” Prior to that, he read the Hunger Games Trilogy, (“I liked it but it was too romantic”) and a biography about a basketball player. (I forget which one. Probably Kobe Bryant) Last week, he announced that he just “loved the smell of books. I smell them all the time.” It was then that I knew he was indeed my nephew. He loves to read, he loves to smell books, and he loves to write. On Mother’s Day he wrote my mother a letter so heartfelt and eloquent that it made everyone cry.
I am so proud of him 🙂
I hope to pass on this legacy of reading and writing to Baby-Doll and Muffin as well. Thus far, Baby-Doll has shown a great deal of interest in becoming an actor or singer (she loves to be the center of attention!) and prefers writing in books rather than reading them. Muffin, is a born athlete who is interested in books–only if he feels like sitting still. (He doesn’t)
I will always be thankful for being granted the privilege of learning to read. It isn’t one I take lightly and I’m going to share my love of reading with whomever I can.
That’s what my mother did for me and it has made all the difference in the world.