Sunday, 30 March 2014

Death by Bookshelf Part 1 of 3

What do you do when down? Whether down is a sprained ankle or concussion, feeling bored or medically depressed. How do you stride through that stint of molasses, a food item which is only pleasant when paired with the words "gingerbread" or "mincemeat pies."

I read.

Nose in a Book

Yes. I read. I know, I know, I even left space for the proverbial, literary crickets to chirp. I always read. What's so special? My profile labels me as a Bookworm after all. Then again, if it is something I always do it obviously gives me comfort so why not do it when I am down, in whatever form that happens to take for me? (Sorry, nosey people physically in my life like to fill space with pestering me with questions centering around the theme of "don't you read too much?").

No. You can never, ever read too much. The world sits between your fingers. Worlds you never dreamed of sit there too. This post today jumps near the theme of moderation, and just what reading too much could be defined as, or at least as close to that as I can get since reading too much equates to the amount of vegetables one must consume before being told they ate too many. (Which is to say, I don't actually know the limit and have not taken the time to scour medical journals for the numerals). 

(EDIT: As this post is getting rather long for sensible attention spans on silly rambles so the actual death by bookshelf will be approached eventually, like terrified cat dangling off a cliff). (Which is to say, I might not even approach it because dangling cats of cliffs is for cruel people who don't belong here). (Which is to also say, I ramble. I try to be tidy but then I ramble. Expect this ship of posts to hit the Rocks of Rambling Off the Theme. My professors lamented this tendency but could to little to improve it).

Before I get to that climactic point however I have a few things to ramble about in order to provide some context (EDIT: See, I have mentioned the infamous "R" word already *cue Jaws music*):

What type of books do I read?

How do I read?

When/where do I read? 

Why do I read?

As you may or may not have conjectured from my brief sidebar bio, I am the sort of person who walks into a bookstore and immediately gravitates toward the section labeled "Fantasy&Sci-Fi." 95% of the time I read a book it will fall under one of those two genres; the other 5% goes to a period when I did read historical fiction, read what high school requires and spent 4 years as an English and Classics major which covered ancient literature (poetry, plays and novels) and literature through the range of 500 to 100 years old. Plus I have a smatter of mainstream bits like "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" or "The Da Vinci Code." I've probably missed something but there are too many subgenres to follow (because we humans love labels...but that's for another day's rant). Oh, thinking of subgenres reminds me I may as well mention here that yes I take as much pleasure reading Japanese manga and light novels, as I do quality fanfiction against things like Dickens' "Bleak House" or Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere." 

Who ever said "don't judge a book..." etc never saw this beauty.

Asking "how" is always the weird question, the tricky one that gets you blank looks from teenagers who hate English class because they were cornered into believing there is only one right answer and therefore everything to do with the class is boring because who wants to think more than necessary anyway? Cheers for the self-fulfilling circle of boring English class. (Which I will admit to feeling numerous times despite being someone who would choose a book over a friend...usually). So how I read books needs to get broken into a series of steps under the columns of: Do I want to read this book? Did someone tell me to read this book? 

If I want to read a book then I have all the time in the world to get through it, be there library overdue fees or me sticking the book on hold after returning it so I can get it for another period of 3 weeks times 3 (renewals). These books I approach with the aplomb of a hot summer's day and anticipation of cooling off as fast as possible in the pool/lake. That is to say, as soon as I get my hands on it I go into my room or sit in my favourite chair, ignore this reality and enter the one in the book. Sometimes however even books I choose, that are by favourite authors, or my type of tale, just don't grab me so I might read a few chapters, come up for air, and return at a more leisurely pace, which in the case of a few, particularly lately, means I have done a lot of library renewing and requesting of holds.

On the other side of the spectrum, there sits on the white picket fence the someone who told me to read the book. Now welcome the earwig called pressure regardless of that someone (or something) being a a friend, a teacher, a professor, a class, a course, a bookclub or for personal growth that someone thinks I need...(Aren't those people pesky? I could spend a whole post talking about how to cope with those individuals, especially as an Introvert, which doesn't mean I don't have my own strong opinions, thank you very much, I just don't go bellowing them from rooftops all day long). 

Pressure does not make for enjoyable book reading, unless you find a rope to grab on to that comes in the form of realizing the book is totally your type, or the book does have some valid things to say and you are all about being open-minded, or you can respect it for the technical genius and motivation required to write it. These books are usually the ones that get me library fines, or me doing a lot of renewing because there are other reasons for me having to get through them aside from me wanting to. Occasionally though, a book grabs me as if I had chosen it and those days are brilliant surprises. For example, Horace Walpole's silly "The Castle of Otranto" or Elizabeth Gaskell's "Society at Cranford" both of which were among my university reading list.

Before discovering Library Book Sales.

When and where I read is quite as simple as comfort and focus. Sometimes a bus does fine and other times the kitchen window seat when I am home with my very large family is even better. Mostly however, a bed or my favourite corner chair, also at home, are the best for diving into other worlds and character's heads. As I am sure you spotted my EDIT earlier on I will leave this first part on books to you with the following questions: What type of books do you read? Is it very specific or are you everywhere at once? Do you go through stages where you prefer one type of book for a long time, and then you don't go near it for years after? How do you read? That is a massive question I know. I only dinted the drywall with my explanations of how I read. After all there are the semantics, the whisper of alliterations, the out-loud laughter on early morning bus rides or carrying the book around like some little kids do blankets.
Vegetables might be Books for the Body but Book are Chocolate Covered Vegetables for the Heart, Mind and Spirit.

After 3 Years of Attending Library Book Sales.
May your Nose Alway Occupy A Book.

(P.S. No, I do not treat my books like that on a daily basis. Blasphemy! That was a "Clean the Dust off Shelves" Day and I was amused to realize I now have enough books I can practically bury my bed in them. Not my cat though, she makes her own space).

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