Tuesday, June 21, 2011 | By: Brianna

Hopelessly Devoted to...

Q:  Name something you would like to devote more time to seeing or doing.  (This prompt comes from the prompt box that I made yesterday.  I kinda cheated because I wasn't in the mood to write fiction this morning.  Next time though...)

A:  Reading.  Simple as that.  There are times when the pull of the computer (of Facebook and StumbleUpon) is just too great and I can't help but sit down in front of it and devote hours of my time to it.  Once I've written a blog post though, that should be my allotted time at the computer, and I should give up trying to check the comments on a Facebook status that I thought was too clever for people to miss.  But then I start to wonder if Jacques (my computer) will get lonely if I don't spend hours watching reruns of television shows on Netflix for hours on end (this month it's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 5).  And I wouldn't want an inanimate object to get lonely, now would I?

But I love to read.  I don't know why I don't start thinking that the novels sitting dusty on my bedroom floor are getting lonely.  They have each other, right, and Jacques is the lone piece of electronic beauty in the room.  No, bookmarks are not the only suitable companions for the literature I crave.  When at school all I want to do is read something fun, I finally get the chance over the summer and I do exactly what I do at school to procrastinate.  Play on the computer.  Isn't this in essence the very conflict that is making people "less likely to read" nowadays?

I want to devote more time to reading because I'm a writer.  If there aren't things out there that will keep my attention, then I need to be writing the things that I would like to keep my attention.  I need to be reading a variety of genres so I can feel comfortable in whatever genre choices I make for my own work.  I need to read poetry, short stories, novels, reference books....anything that I can carry so I can learn from the writers who have come before me.  And learn all the fantastic things that I never would have learned if I hadn't read that one reference book on _____________.  Unfortunately, I have yet to convince myself that non-fiction is worth my time.  I'm far too intimidated by its truth.  But then again, fiction has its own truth...so really why am I complaining?

I want to devote more time to reading because it doesn't give me a headache while staring at the computer for too long does (Sorry, Jacques.).  Because my eyes don't dry up after finishing a chapter of some fluff book (my current fluff book being How to Buy a Love of Reading).  Because when I mention that I "read something in a book about...", it sounds infinitely better than: "So I was on StumbleUpon and I found..."  I know this from experience.  Because it's still difficult to find a comfortable "curl up" position with Jacques on my lap, whereas I can curl into my tightest ball and still be able to read properly.  Because I'm an English major, and that's what I should be doing in my spare time in order to be useful to the English community.

It's not like I don't have things to read.  On my Goodreads account, I have well over 200 books on my "to read" list, and that's obviously not taking into account the books that I simply find in the library which tickle my fancy (my fancy is frequently tickled when I'm at the library, that's just the way things go).  And then there are the classics that "everyone should read" just because they're classics.  Though I complain that I don't understand why they're deemed "classic," (really, why is it that EVERYTHING Charles Dickens has ever written has been considered a classic?  Are we judging classic authors or classic books here?) there are still certain books that I've never read and probably should.  For instance, at the time of writing this blog post, I have never read a Charles Dickens book in my life.  So I should probably do that.  Plus how profound and literary would I look if I was just sitting somewhere in a park reading Great Expectations?  Some fellow bookworm might come up to me and ask me out for a drink while we discuss the intricacies of the symbolism found between the pages of our favorite book which just happens to be the same thing.  And then of course we'll discuss our guilty pleasure: Harry Potter.

And then of course there's writing.  Which I should also spend more time doing.  Considering I'm a writer, I spend a lot more time doing un-writerly things rather than writing.  Which might be considered bad.  Because I'll get out of practice, and then where will I be?  Nowhere, that's where.  On the bright side, this blog has definitely encouraged me to write something everyday, even if it's just incoherent ramblings about whatever's going on in my life at present or a snippet of fiction that I'll probably never revisit.  But I do have notebooks upon notebooks sitting untouched in my room.  Perhaps while I'm sitting on that park bench with Great Expectations, I can whip out my notebook and scribble down a description of the bookworm that seems to be approaching me.

In short, reading and writing.  What with it being summer and all, I have WAY too much time on my hands to complain about not having time.  So resolution.  Read.  And write.  Let's do this.

"Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow..."
- Lawrence Clark Powell 


Tanya Egan Gibson said...

I'm honored that HTBALOR supplanted Jacques for a bit (though I do think Jacques deserves a run of BtVS, Season 5--my favorite season of my favorite show, ever). Thanks for reading my novel.

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