“Read, you fools!”

Originally, I had planned to talk about french fries, gardening or yoga, but once again, I was in deterred in the bathroom. So there I was, and something struck me: I have some really frickin’ awesome ideas when in the restroom. That place in general is just amazing and is therefore, in a word, magic. Yeah, you heard me. Magic. Thank you, inventor of the latrine, for providing the most magical place I will ever be. Until the wizarding gene shows up in my DNA and my children go to the American school of Witchcraft and wizardry and I get to take them to the American Diagon Alley.

My new topic of interest hits close to home for me, and once this idea hit me, I knew I had a title and I had to put it into use. Kudos to those who recognize the play-on-words-quote thing going up there. Anyone who’s seen the movies at least knows (or should, at least) where it’s from. I’m trying really hard not to give away what it is because I was pretty excited with my awesome brain power.

I’m a nerd. What can I say? Fantasy fiction is right up there for me (second is a good mystery book and silly girly books by authors like Sarah Dessen). Gimme magic, sword-fighting, and monsters, and I swear to you, it will be eaten and digested. Sometimes it’ll take longer than other stories/books to digest (oh, hello, Sword of Shannara, A Clash of Kings, and Wheel of Time), but I will power through the slow parts! “Just give me a book!” I cry out, “I live on reading! I can’t survive without a book on my person! I feel naked!”

Yes. This information is true. And so is this: I am a nineteen year old college freshman who always has at least one book on her person. I don’t own a kindle or a nook (though, come time when I have to go on a trip, carrying one of these handy devices would be so much easier than a bag of forty books). I have walked around with two or more books in my purse. I’ve had people stop, stare, and say something along the lines of “Holy cow, that’s a huge ass book!” when I pull out a, as they call it, huge ass book out of my bag. I’m still waiting for my poor purse to, like, die or something because I’ve had since freshman year of high school and it’s been through so much, the poor thing. There was this one time, when two of my best friends pissed me off and I pulled a book out of my bag to ignore them and they decided that to get me to talk, they were going to take my book away. So they take the book away and I dive-bomb my purse and pull out a second book. They immediately face palm, and take that one away, too. So I pout, then grab a third book out of my bag. It was a Mary Poppins moment, for sure. “How many books do you have in there?!” ‘Cause, you know, my bag is a bit on the small side.

And mostly this exclamation of  “omg a book, I’ma die” comes from people of my generation or are younger. While a minority of my friends actually read for fun (what a concept!), most of them are too busy or find reading to be dull. “It’s a waste of time,” they say. “What is the point of reading?” they ask.

I was in a freshman class last year (there is a reason as to why a high school senior had to suffer with a bunch of high school freshman; that reason is along the lines of changing schools sucks and graduation requirements actually differ from school to school. Dear god, freshman after lunch. That’s that very definition of hell. Or purgatory. Probably both.) and one girl immediately told me “Reading is stupid and why should I do that?” I was flabbergasted (I love that word! It makes my heart soar whenever I use it or see it used somewhere else)! The other freshman girl next to me had the same horrified expression I had on my face. I literally said aloud, “What is wrong with you people?! *table flip*” Okay, so I didn’t actually flip any tables. I don’t think Brandy, my teacher, would’ve appreciated that much.

But really? I do realize that not everyone has the time to sit down and read like I do, but to call it stupid or pointless? WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?! I know we don’t really appreciate English teachers shoving the oldest, bulkiest, most boring books they can find in our faces, but that’s not how every book is! And there are actually some pretty good books that I had to read while in school. George Orwell’s 1984 (8th grade) and Animal Farm (9th or 10th grade)were pretty good as well as the Grapes of Wrath (Junior year; yea, that actually wasn’t a terrible book to read, one of the better ones, in fact) and any of the various anthologies they push in front of me. I go out of my way to find anthologies. They’re quick easy reads, and there are lots of stories in them. Lots. Hell, I can’t set foot in a library without coming back out with a stack of books. I’ve put books on hold so I could try to curb my addiction; it works best when I send someone else in to get the books. I go in, I’m headed straight into the building to the fiction area. I’d love to work in a library or a Barnes and Nobles (if I don’t become a teacher, I may become a librarian. Or the other way around; haven’t decided yet).  I’d probably live in these places if I could. I plan on having a whole floor dedicated to books when I’m wealthy enough to afford a house.

Back to reading and people being fools. Sure, we read everyday. Newspapers, texts, emails, that news thing at the bottom where it tells us random happenings in the world that have been deemed important. So yeah, that’s reading. Of course that’s reading. But when was the last time you sat down with a book of your choice and just read for the enjoyment and pleasure of getting away from it all? Most children probably haven’t. They probably figure that they’re being punished for something or the lack of boopity bop in the background makes them edgy and nervous. Then when the allotted time is up, they instantly cry and complain to their friends about how evil their parents are for making them read.

Bah. This is where I’m making myself clear: MAKE YOURSELF READ A BOOK. It won’t harm you, it won’t turn and make fun of you, it won’t criticize you for your faults. Let the story draw you in, drop your shoulders down below your ears, and decide which character you want to get with, you want to stab, and which you’d be best friends with. Just sayin’. Read instead of playing a video game! You can still get all the awesome of whatever game you’re playing when you read. Below is a list of books to at least consider. This is in no way limiting to what to read. Links will be provided within each title to Barnes and Nobles. I highly suggest exploring more books there. I have a list of books I’ve found on Barnes and Nobles that I hope to read someday!

I highly suggest:

These are all really good books, you just have to know what you’re looking for. Two of these have rather adult themes, so just a warning. And trust me when I say, while GoT can be a little bit explicit, Tanith trumped George with this one.

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