Four years is the amount of time I spent in college, and now the amount of time I’ve lived since graduating. One went twice as quickly as the other.
Four years ago was the last time I had someone tell me I had to read a book for an assignment.
I think that’s the strangest thing about being out of school. Everything I study is chosen.
I’m not saying it was ever difficult to get me to read my assigned books in school, except Edith Hamilton’s ‘Mythology’ — that was my all time least favorite thing to read and poor Sandy Hall, my 9th grade English teacher and lifelong friend, still has to hear about it sometimes. Still, I may have been somewhat of a slacker student, but reading was the school assignment I was always guaranteed to do.
Brief moment in defense of slacker students who love to read — I’ve never once been asked to solve an algebra equation in adulthood, but I read every single day — for work and entertainment.
The thing about the real world is no one is assigning books. No one is going to tell me I have to read something because a grade depends on it. So I get to choose. The problem with being able to choose is that I want to read all of the books. I want to fill every shelf in my home. I want to always have fresh pages I haven’t seen.
I don’t want to stop until I’ve at least taken a shot at every book in every style.
In elementary school I had a teacher I drove crazy by reading several books at a time instead of just focusing on the one we were reading for class. Adulthood is like that.
This need to read every book is an impatient one. It manifests itself in stacks of hardcovers and paperbacks covering every open surface in my bedroom, and long lists of titles that need to be crossed off.
I’ve read some books I hated. Last year I tried my damndest to get through my first Stephen King book, but I just couldn’t stay interested. I’ve read books that disappointed me, endings that left me deflated, storylines that just didn’t make sense… but I’ve never regretted any moments spent in the pages.