To Read or Not To Read

When I daydreamed as a child – I imagined myself as a skater wearing fanciful sequined skirts with colored laces. I would be the best ice skater there was. During the 4th grade, I told my mother that I wanted to cut my long hair – to be like Dorothy – Dorothy Hamill. “You know, the ice skater”.   With my bowl-cut hair, I’d practice jumping from couch to stool landing with one foot, my sisters applauding and scoring me with straight 8’s. Granted, I wasn’t the best at twirling and could barely stand up on skates, but in the eyes of a nine-year-old – I was brilliant.

The sense of freedom I experienced as a child was captured in books as well.   When I first read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – I knew that Narnia was real and if I had a giant wardrobe I, too, could escape. Oh, the power we find in books.

It’s nearing the end of January and I look over the list of books I want to read. My count started at 50 and has since been reduce to 30, then 20, then 10. I rounded up to 12 – thinking one a month would be just fine. I suppose the idea of one book a month wasn’t so overwhelming and the urge to finish would be little.

Picking a number was easier then choosing the books. Do I surprise myself and simply wait for the month to arrive and just pick up a book and that becomes the book for that month? Or, do I sort through my stacks and grab random ones? Should I choose a theme? Or, a genre?

For Christmas, I received “Gone Girl” – a book that is definitely outside my genre of sorts. Yet, I felt the need to read it for it was a gift. I decided for the month of January, I’d read it. I’m actually enjoying Gillian Flynn’s writing – she has a nice way about her word choice and the paragraphs flow well. The shift in perspective is refreshing. But, I confessed I cheated and went online to read the ending. Now that I’m half way through the book – I don’t know if I want to finish it. Argh. So does that book count for January? Or am I doomed and need to catch up in February? February is only 28 days – too much pressure already.

Speaking of pressure, do you ever feel the type of book you reading simply is beneath you to read? Do you feel the pressure to read classic books? You know, the ones written in the late 18th century early 19th in Britain.

My imagined conversation goes like this, “So, tell me what you’re reading”?

“Oh, you know Henry Melville’s Moby Dick – and you”?

“Me? Well, um, Fifty Shades of Grey”.

The awkward, pregnant silence moment unfolds and you’re both looking at each other – not quite sure what to say for neither of you of read what the other has and you each think, “Well, at least they’re reading something”.

Do you have any classics listed in your list of books to read for 2015?

My list…

  • January: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Christmas gift)
  • February:  Nightmare Magazine edited by John Joseph Adams (Issue 1 | October 2012)  (given as a gift back in 2012 – I’m a slacker)
  • March: Poetry Speaks Expanded (listen to over 107 poets read their poetry to you – great stuff) – in prep for my masters course in poetry come this summer)
  • April: Dracula by Bram Stoker (an oldie)
  • May: Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi (part of my quarterly box from Book Riot)
  • June: The Constant Heart by Craig Nova (a professor of mine)
  • July: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel  (intrigued by this book)
  • August:  Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman  (love this man’s work)
  • September: Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe  (Edgar rocks)
  • October: Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll  (did you know that Neil Gaiman can quote Jabberwocky?)
  • November: Owl Light by Vonnie Winslow Crist (the cover is beautiful)
  • December: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (here’s my classic 🙂

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