Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Reading

Lately, I have discovered reading. And I say discovered rather than rediscovered because I never really got into it in the first place. I'd never been much of a book reader. Imagine being an English major and not liking to read novels. Well, it wasn't really that I didn't like to read, I just lacked the focus to read anything for a sustained amount of time. I'd either get bored or distracted and never finish what I was reading. All through school, including college, I never read one single book all the way through. Call it short attention span, lack of interest, ADD, whatever. It's not something I'm proud of - it's just a fact.

But recently I have become a voracious reader. It all started with the book Manhunt by James L. Swanson, which I read in about three weeks last summer - highly uncommon for me. But it happened to be on one of my favourite subject matters, John Wilkes Booth. The whole thing fascinated me.

As soon as I finished reading Manhunt, I read American Brutus by Michael W. Kauffman and Blood on the Moon by Edward Steers, Jr., also both about Booth. And then I read Founding Brothers and His Excellency: George Washington, both by Joseph J. Ellis. Then The BF recommended Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo. Then came A Sister's Memoir by Asia Booth Clark, another book about Booth, then Running With Scissors and Magical Thinking, both by Augusten Burroughs, then The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom (the only book I've ever read in one sitting).

Right now I am reading The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander, a fictional story about the last days of Tsar Nicholas II and the Russian Romanov Dynasty. That's 11 novels in about 9 months. I am not sure what has stoked this desire in me to be such an avid reader, but I love it. I guess the difference is reading something you want to read, rather than reading something you have to read.

I think this summer, I am going to undertake a challenge and read all those books I was assigned in school and never finished, much less retained. I'll probably be surprised and no doubt realize just why they are all considered classics. And it's a shame I let myself wait so long to find out.
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