Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday's post. Shut up, it's only Wednesday.
What are they? Oh, good question. I mean, anyone can see they are books, but why oh why do they remain in a stack in front of my book shelf?
--Sigh-- These are the books I meant to get to this summer, meant to read. Some of them Laura loaned me. Some of them I got for free. Some of them I picked up at a used book store. Some of them I have already read and wanted to take another look at. Some of them I picked up because they are blue. (And let's not even talk about the enormous to-read, The Undaunted, or the books I am currently reading, my ebooks, or the ones I am writing). But sadly, now they are all on the Island of Misfit Toys, or they might as well be.
See, (and this has nothing to do with being Misfitty; this is just a bad transition into the nether part of the blog post) I'm not all about reading the newest thing. I can wait (it's one of my good qualities). In fact, I am innately against choosing things (to include books, hair care products, music, and restaurants) and letting them into my life before they have been tried and tested by other, less picky individuals.
Am I picky? Um...no. I just like what I like, and generally, I do not like things (to include bed linens, cleaning agents, and new playground equipment) because everyone else does at the moment. When I like something, I want to like it because I like it, because it is useful to me, because it brings me joy. It lasts longer.
I've always been this way. For instance, in high school I actually purchased and read classical literature. Because I liked it. Now? I still like the things I invested my time in during school, but let's just say I'm not in the mood to pick up any new classical literature. It stopped being useful to me. Now, I don't really even like contemporary literature. It's kind of boring. If it says "poignant" or "a glaring new look at blank (fill in the blank)" anywhere on the cover, I'm generally not interested, even if someone I like recommends it to me. Especially if someone I like recommends it to me.
See, I think choosing a book to read is a really personal decision. It's information you voluntarily let into your mind. It's a time commitment. It's a relationship, maybe for life. It's a personal connection to the author, and if not the author, to something else--maybe just to other readers in general.
I guess what got me thinking about this today was John Lavan's tweet about an excerpt of Tennyson's Ulysses:
"I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life!"
Pretty, huh? And poignant. Wait...what?
And anyway, what do you think I should read first (out of these authors I have already agreed to let into my life)? I mean, when I get around to it.