I hadn’t read a book in 4 years. When I was a growing up my dad would bring my brother and I to the public library every Sunday. While my dad perused the DVDs and my brother hit up the manga, I would spend half an hour picking out novel after novel to read that week. I would carry big stacks, always at least 6 books, in my scrawny middle school arms. I checked out YA novels and kids’ novels. Books about life, about death, about magic, about school shootings, about race, about teen detectives, about people with mental illness. If it had an aesthetically pleasing cover, snazzy summary, and was about people around my age, I would check it out.
In high school I took AP English classes. The complexity is meant to prepare you for college level work, but they also put an additional strain on the enjoyment of reading. I never got to enjoy the texts I read, because the focus is put on proving to other people that you understand every element in it. I was good at that, but it made reading into an unpleasant job, so I stopped doing it recreationally.
Now, it’s 2016. I’m at home for the summer and have spent my money on 4 books that are exclusively for my viewing pleasure. There is no quiz, no potential essay, and no necessity to reference them in class discussion. I’m an anthropology and sociology major, and that definitely influenced the interest I took in these books, but not the express purpose with which I read them. These books are 100% for me.
- The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture by Euny Hong
- How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston
- Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit by Joseph Epstein
- Scapegoat: A History of Blaming Other People by Charlie Campbell
Thanks for reading!
Until next time, have an awesome rest of your day and an amazing rest of your week!