I’ve always been that kid in Honors everything. My parents never worried about my grades because I probably put more pressure on myself to do better than they ever could. That also meant when I accomplished things, I was darn proud of myself for doing it on my own.
That’s how I feel about reading. For many years, I was being the snotty intellectual type who read Faulkner and Joyce for fun. Yep, for fun. When I bought my Kindle last year, I thought it was so awesome because many of the other Classics are free for download. I was going to conquer all of it. And I wasn’t going to need the help of a classroom to fully grasp this meaningful literature.
Perfect example of this: When I was dating in DC, if any guy said that The Da Vinci Code was his favorite book, I was done. That is how much of a book snob I was.
So one of my first attempts was Jane Eyre. Yeah, I made it through high school and college without ever having to read it. People LOVE this book, so I had to see what the big deal was.
It took me four months to read. I can read three books in a week, and it took me four MONTHS to read this? And then, when I got to the end, I was exhausted. Like I had to take a nap. I decided to give my Classics list another go with Wuthering Heights, another one of those beloved novels people read over and over again. I had found the book on CD and listened to it during one of my drives to St. Louis. I have no desire to revisit that story again. They’re all crazy.
All last year I was reading what people would call “chick lit.” I realized I really liked Janet Evanovich. And Meg Cabot. And Sophie Kinsella. I love the court drama in Jodi Picoult. These are great writers and stories. I found that because I was reading so many articles and blogs during the day, I wanted to go to a world of drama, comedy, love, and goofiness when I got home.
Talking to my friends, I know I’m not the only one feeling pressure to read monumental works of fiction. Is it part of the Gen-Y over-achieving DNA? Is it part of the Honors Us vs. Them mentality? That we have to be better than the Best Seller list?
I pulled out my own book list (yes, I have a book list) and scanned it. Cringing, I realized I had NO desire to read anything else on the list. I can honestly say that I’m perfectly fine giving up Dumas and Dickens.
Life is too short to worry about reading things I feel like I should read instead of missing out on the things I want to read.
I am officially getting off of my book snob high horse. Who’s with me?
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