Manifesto Monday: reading & writing


photo by me. june 2009. by the window.

somewhere, somehow, as a child i lost my enjoyment for reading. i remember reading "nancy drew" books. those seemed to keep my attention. i also recall reading a book about a kid who turned into chocolate. people read to me, and that was okay. i remember nice giants going from window to window handing out dreams to sleeping children, kids who lived in box cars, and a story about a futuristic earth. i sort of liked was better than reading.
but, immediately following my entrance into middle school the tiny reading bug that had somewhat inhabited my awkward brain left. it simply abandoned me. i didn't finish one novel from 7th grade all the way until my senior year in high school.
grapes of wrath: maybe i read the first 100 pages.
heart of darkness: only got through half of this short, but dense novel.
the good earth: i think i may have read the whole thing, but i can't recall even the plot.
crime & punishment: my first attempt at an audiobook, which i also failed at completing
strange indeed. i had no appetite for books until my third year of college. i'm not sure how the love of reading left so discreetly, and came back with such loudness.
so what happened my third year of college? i learned how to read. yes, it seems a little late to be learning how to read, but that's the truth. of course i could read the words on the page, but i didn't know how to wrap my head around the bigger picture. i didn't know how to make connections. i didn't know that there was something bigger than a straight story line. it took an incredibly complex history course with an incredible kind professor who showed me how a book was to be read...and consequently, how a person should write.
reading came easier. writing is still painful, yet liberating. there's something about reading great ideas and great plots that compels you to write your own words in a way to reveal your version of the world, its people, its history.
it is interesting to me that i have hardly any memory of those years when i wasn't reading. my memory is much more alive during the years i have been voraciously reading and writing. these gifts keep me exploring, they keep my mind questioning and learning. reading and writing are gifts indeed. we should use them more often.
this i believe.


CJ said...

Wow, that is interesting about the memory and reading.
I feel like I had the same experience, hated reading till college, then it took me a few years more to read novels. No I like it a whole lot. but I still have a hard time staying awake for more than 3 pages...