Like everyone on this dear planet of ours, I’m presenting myself with some sort of “challenge” for the new year. Usually I just make a loose promise to myself that I forget within the first week of January. “Gabi, you’re going to remember that there are other food groups besides sugar,” I’d say. Or “Gabi, stop being such a flaming bitch.” But my diet still consists of cakes and cookies and I still hate everyone. Of course, neither habit truly bothers me any, so there’s never much motivation.
But you know what does bother me? The fact that I never read anymore. I mean, reading was my childhood. I was the first in my class to be able to read, and from that point on, I forever had a book in my hand.
Until the end of my sophomore year, that is. I haven’t read a book for enjoyment since (unless you could Twilight, but I consider that research). I just haven’t had the time. Scratch that. I’m sure I could have found time. But, despite the fact that I do so well in the classes, AP English has taken all the fun out of reading.
I mean, I get it. They want to develop our appreciation for writing as an art form and cultivate our ability to look beyond the plot. That’s lovely. But half the assignments we receive seem like nothing more than busy work to me. We’re given insane deadlines (one assignment was due online Christmas morning), and none of the work gives me a firmer grasp on the material than if I were given the opportunity to read in the manner of my choosing. Maybe I’m just ahead of the game. Maybe I’m behind. I don’t know. Perhaps this is me being your stereotypical frustrated teen, but I don’t think authors want us to analyze their work sentence by sentence. I think what the reader can take from a novel as a whole is more important than what specific word choices contribute to the overall mood of the piece. To me, if that mood at least translated to me, that’s all that should matter.
In an attempt to rekindle my passion for reading, I have embarked on a mission to read fifty-two books this year. Fifty. Plus two. Fifty two. That translates to one a week, but I won’t be holding myself to that. It wouldn’t make sense if I gave myself the same time frame to read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that I give myself to read Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland.
For the most part, I will be reading whatever I can download for free on the Kindle my dad passed down to me, which means classics. I have a running to-read list here, and I am always open for suggestions. So suggest away.
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