Reading For Fun
The bookshelf beside my bed is aspiration and accomplishment in equal measure. One shelf holds stories that I am now familiar with, full of marked up pages with dogeared bottoms. The second bends under the weight of a queue — the pages I have yet to turn.
As a child, I was able to wrap myself up into the storyline of any book that I read almost instantly. I could spend hours in a day reading and finish a book easily in one sitting. However, as my years in school passed, I began to see reading as a chore as it morphed from a story to a task, an assignment. I resented it.
I think I have done my due diligence. For thirteen years, I have done what is asked, what I am told. Now that I am a senior, this almost-adulthood is drawing me back to things that once brought me pleasure. I want to turn back the clock —not to repeat childhood— but just to have a glimpse into what I once enjoyed before it was of lesser importance. So, recently, I have gotten back into reading. It has now become something that I enjoy again and that I can find accomplishment and enrichment from.
In what remains of my time in high school, I am trying to put my time and energy into what I value, what brings me joy. Beyond books, this has included trying knitting again, doing ceramics, doing the NYT mini crossword and Wordle (I know, following the trend). I think that this is a common phenomenon at this stage of life, but I can see in myself and those around me that we are aching to get back to things that actually make us happy. Opportunities like March Intensive are a good chance to do so, but it is worth pausing to realize that for the rest of the year we have so much homework and time in classes (which includes good learning but can also mean doing unavoidable busy work or wasting time) that we don’t have time left over to do things that bring us a greater sense of meaning.
So, now that I have gone on about my newly re-found passion for reading, here are some of my favorites that I have read recently or am currently reading:
- The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
- The Round House by Louise Erdrich
- The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
- The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
- The Stranger by Albert Camus
- The Solace of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrlich
- Salvador by Joan Didion
- Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer