7.25.2013

Learning to Read

At the risk of sounding simple and uncultured, I have never fancied myself a reader.

In high school, I skimmed my way through many of the classics. I'm tempted to pat myself on the back for remembering characters and plots of Lord of the Flies, A Separate Piece, The Crucible, Jane Eyre and the like. Back in the day before the internet (gasp!), we actually had to read the book to pass the tests (or at minimum, buy the Spark Notes).

In college, I developed a small penchant for reading in Sweet Eugenes Coffee House, where all the good little Aggie Christian's studied. I'd lug my piles of textbooks with me, hopeful to get school work done. But when it came down to it, the time I spent actually studying paled in comparison to the hours I spent catching up with friends or with my headphones on reading the latest books by the all the relevant pastor-turned-authors... anything by Donald Miller, John Piper, Francis Chan. If I was feeling particularly astute, I'd open the pages of some Oswald Chambers or C.S. Lewis. I cherish those days and learned a lot from what I read.

Then life happened. I graduated. I moved to a big city where the stiff chairs in the corner Starbucks were no match for the decades-old couches that graced the dark corners of Sweet Eugenes.  Full time work took the place of full time play (I mean school.... Mom, I know you're reading). Then I had a husband. And then some kids. There hasn't really been much room for reading.

Along came last Fall... Ian and I were packing to go on our first cruise with a few other couples. If I had learned anything from social media, it's that when you go on a cruise as an adult, you have to take pictures of your book resting on your tanned legs overlooking the ocean from the Lido Deck. So as I packed my bathing suits, sun screen, and fancy dresses, I threw in a couple books I'd been meaning to read. Then guess what!! I actually read them. And, even more shocking to me, it was enjoyable. Fiction books, contrary to my former beliefs, didn't seem like a waste of time. Instead, it was relaxing and quiet. Having a toddler at home, and another baby on the way, relaxing and quiet were right up my alley.

On that cruise, I read The Hobbit, Tina Fey's Bossy Pants and finished Francis Chan's Forgotten God, after starting it 2 years (!!) prior.

I returned home and opened to page one of The Hunger Games. Katniss and company drew me even deeper into my new found hobby. The Hunger Games Trilogy, followed by Bob Goff's Love Does, and a quick reread of The Great Gastby before it hit theaters. {Enter the new Kindle I received for Christmas} Then all seven in the Harry Potter series. Onto an easy memoir called Sparkley Green Earrings. In three days time, I knocked out Redeeming Love. I'm currently a couple chapters into Francine Rivers' A Voice in the Wind, but paused to read a new autobiographical cookbook called Bread and Wine (which I hope to finish tonight after bedtime).

Not counting the infinite readings of Pat the Bunny, Berenstain Bears and other toddler lit, that's 19 books in the last 10 months. A far cry from my former nonreading self.

While my taste seems pretty eclectic at best, I'm taking recommendations on books that should be added to my queue.

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