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.
That’s such a good…goal? Resolution? Project? It’s actually going to do some good, and it’s achievable, and I wish you the best of luck. :) I don’t read as much of late as I used to, and I’ve been trying to get back into it. A week on holiday away from the internet was a help – I think I read about eight books. 0_o That’s about as many as I’ve read in the past six months combined! :P
If you’ve not read Robin Hobb’s Assassin and Tawny man series, then I’d highly recommend them. They’re slow to start, somewhat dauntingly lengthy, and dry in patches, but ultimately my favourite books of all time. They come with a high recommendation. Other than that, have you read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak? It’s brilliant, and addictive, and is so quick to read.
Ooo your to-read list has some good stuff on it! I think I will make reading more part of my new year resolution too. I used to read at least one book a week and now I’m down to none :( I even have some books I bought months ago that are still waiting to be read. So… I really have no suggestions that aren’t on your list already because I suck. But good luck to you! :)
I wish you luck completing your goal :) I read all the time but its hard to find a good book without the whole vampire love thing going on. Some of the books on your list look great though so I might give one of them a try, especially the hunger game series! :)
Indeed, high school takes the fun out of reading for everyone, and I wasn’t even in AP English. University isn’t much better. There’s just no time to leisurely read, though I do find the time nowadays. I give up other things, such as sleep.
There’s an entire group on Facebook called something like English Teachers Put More Thought Into a Book than the Author Did. People just tend to over-analyze. It’s the same thing in design. When my worked is critiqued in class people come up with things that I never even thought about and then either praise me for it or say it sucked.
This is why I study communications design. The work needs to communicate a specific message and that’s it. It’s the same thing with literature. Like Twilight communicates how important it is to have a super gorgeous boyfriend and if you don’t you should kill yourself.
I think 52 might be an overboard goal, but nevertheless good luck on it. In 8th grade we were suggested to read 25 books a year, but my friend read 5 books every week so … I hate calculating how many books she read. I don’t know which books you’ve read but I really suggest So B. It by Sarah Weeks. It’s a really easy book which you CAN finish in a week, and it’s got a lovely moral to it.
That’s a lovely goal! I have made a goal of 100 books for the day zero project and 10 of those books have to be brand new books or books I haven’t read before. I think 52 is a great number and honestly who care if you don’t finish your goal this year, roll it over for next year. Wehn you finally read 52 books you won’t worry about how long it took you, you will be a lot more happy that you finished it! Good luck!
I made the same goal for this year! Well, I made it last year too, but I didn’t complete it. I only got to like 38 or something. Like you, I used to looove to read, and then as high school slowly took over, I read less and less and less. Plus, I think the whole analyzing novels and writing essays on them might have put me off for a bit since I hadn’t read a good book in forever.
The only benefit I see from analyzing a novel like you do in school is if you’re going to become a writer yourself. Then I can see how studying others’ work will help you write your own. But for the everyday person? I don’t find much of a benefit from it. Most of the time I think the author didn’t even realize they were doing half of the stuff we analyze. XD
I love reading! I don’t really have too much time for it anymore but I tend to go to the bookstore and buy a few books a month. Since I’ve gotten my tablet, however, I’ve been using the NOOK app and just buying books that way. But there’s really not as much enjoyment as a good ole fashioned book that you can hold in your hand.
Have you ever read Jurassic Park? It’s really really good, much better than the film. Your list of books to read looks great, I might steal some! Good luck with your reading! Hope you enjoy it =] xx
I remember AP English… I actually loved the books we were assigned (however my teacher focused more on depressing Russian lit, for some reason). I hope you regain your love for reading soon..
Wow, 52. Good luck.
I used to read all the time when I was younger, and I even went to the local library every week. Now I don’t have enough motivation to actually pick up a book and scan through the pages. I got a Kindle last year, but I haven’t touched it in several months.
I hate language arts. I’m taking AP Lang right now, and so far we’ve only been analyzing the authors’ rhetoric and execution. Next year I’m taking AP Literature, so it’s a bunch of analyses again. I’m pretty sure those authors didn’t intend to write those essays for the sake of analyses and “educated” interpretations.
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Dracula. <3 You should also read Fahrenheit 451.
it’s been a very very very very long time.
I just saw your picture of your red hair that you took in…December. It’s March, but whatever, you look gorgeous!! Love it. Love how long your hair is & your glasses…definitely need new ones myself.
Ahhh a wonderful goal indeed. I was going to do 52 myself, but then I realized that I probably wouldn’t be able to read a book every week, especially when I’m study abroad or studying for finals/midterms. So, I decided on 40. I’m pretty much on time with that too. Very manageable goal, so I hope you can definitely fulfill yours.
I have a CRAP LOAD of books (in ePub format, but you can easily convert it to .mobi for your kindle or .pdf via Calibre) if you’re interested. I can definitely send you a list of the books I have & I’d be glad to send any of them you’d like on over to you. :)
You have a great reading list & a lot of them overlap mine as well. I’ve read a lot of the ones you’ve listed!! Woot. So, I’m currently reading Slaughterhouse Five right now. Haven’t really gotten super deep into it, but it’s an easy read.
Dracula takes forever to go through, but the end is exciting.
I’ve only read one of the Millenium trilogy & The Girl with the Dragon Tat is a greatttttt book. I really loved it. Very lengthy & often drags on, but it’s awesome.
Read the entire Hunger Games trilogy in a matter of days, easy read. First book was the best, the second two were like…meeeehhhhhh & often, “wtf man, you had to just do that?! why. sigh.” But, thoroughly enjoyable still, easy reads.
Would recommend reading a book by Chuck Palahnuik, the guy who wrote Fight Club. I read his book Choke, which was very interesting. Awesome ending.
The Grapes of Wrath….read parts of it & decided that it was boring & stopped. Summer reading requirement, didn’t give a fck bout it because…well, dgaf haha.
LOVED LOVED LOVED A Clockwork Orange. Would definitely recommend Brave New World since it’s also a dystopia-like book as well.
Haven’t read the Jungle, have it though, but I’d definitely recommend reading Fast Food Nation since it’s our generation & current. It is The Jungle of the 21st century.
I made a similar goal to yours for the same reason: I used to read like a mad woman. Once reading 9 books in a month & a half during summer, so I decided to get back into it, especially now that I have an iPad haha. So I’ve been on a reading binge.
One of the most beautiful & touching books I’ve read last year was this book recommended by my Linguistic Anthropology professor called Genie by Russ Rymer. Absolutely fantastic. It’s about the feral child who was tied up to her potty chair for 13 years, true story. Russ Rymer takes into account both sides of those that cared for Genie & tried to help her language development. Only suggested it because of your interest in the brain (your dreams book that is Freudian). Not a huge psych fan since I kind of think most psychologists with their theories are asshats, but that’s okay, still interesting theories never the less, can’t really prove them, but they’re still quite interesting.
An easy read as well to guide you through all sorts of things: The Best Advice I Ever Got put together by Katie Couric.
& The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Absolutely recommend this book. It is an adorable story with a lot of heart. As a nonbeliever, even though the book is riddled with silly fairytales & illusions/make-believe, one can still appreciate how beautiful the story is & the language (even though it was translated). Heck, the first chapter was a better love story than the Twilight series & it make me grin for 2 minutes while I was reading it & it was only maybe a paragraph on the boy’s love.
ALSO on the note of analyzing books: I concur, but then again, some works can be deconstructed into some social or political view that the author is trying to portray..only if the author himself is a deep thinking individual who claims that his work is indeed a reflection on his view of society or something. Otherwise, wtf school, give us a break, right? Thank goodness I’m done with English classes for the rest of my life!! I used to love it too, until they make you read books that make you want to shoot yourself…or remember stupid details that don’t even contribute to the main point of the story.
So true. I never liked reading, because in my childhood my parents didn’t read books with me – which sounds really sad – and in high school I was never motivated to read a book because it was always an obligation you know… In the last year of high school I miraculously had time to read the complete Twilight saga and I’ve been reading ever since. I didn’t have to read for school any more and I decided to give it a try. Now that I’m in college I have a lot of free time and I read book after book after book after book. I love it. I don’t think I could ready fifty two books in a year though, more like… 20 or something. I suggest all the books by Nicholas Sparks because really those are the only english books I read ;)
Hi, i somehow bloghopped my way here. :)
How about adding the TimeRiders book series? Its a 9-book series, 6th book will be out in August i think. I am currently trying to finish book 4 (A Feast for Crows) from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin (yep, that’s where the TV series Game of Thrones came from). With the iPad, I’m able to read 2 books simultaneously. I still like buying the real deal and smelling that homey, new-book smell, so mostly i have a book on my bedside table & another on the iPad that i read when I’m out and about.
Ooh, yes, reading! Good luck to you on that! :D All the time in high school, I hear people say, “I haven’t read a real book for fun since middle school!” like they’re proud of themselves, and I’m like, Am I supposed to be impressed by that? Maybe it’s just your and my bias speaking, but I think reading’s one of the greatest things in the world.
… haha Twilight … (ignore me)
Don’t really know what to recommend! It depends on what you like–if you’re into YA and realistic fiction and well-written romance, I suggest books by John Green, Lauren Myracle, Maureen Johnson, David Levithan and Meg Cabot (who wrote the Princess Diaries–if you haven’t read those, read them! :D) As for fantasy, I can tell you some things I’ve read in the past: Pendragon, and anything by Cornelia Funke, E. Nesbit or Edward Eager :B The Spiderwick Chronicles is also pretty good, although the books are super short and you’d probably finish them in twenty minutes, haha xD
Oh Lord, AP English though D: School, bahhh.
Yes, I had a similar instance that happened to me in college. I was a biology major, so reading any literary books just went out the window, lol. It was always science articles and textbooks alllll the time. Which is a bit sad because I loved reading like you did too, ever since childhood. My birthday request was a Kindle last winter, and that winter break was the first time in years that I had read so many books out of leisure :) It really does feel great. Of course, once winter break was over, I was back to reading science stuff, and now that it’s summer I’m trying to get back into reading again. I guess it’s kind of a cycle, although I wish I kept myself more consistent!
Hi gorgeous! I suggest you check Goodreads. That’s my go to when I’m looking for something new to read. :)
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