One of my favorite things about having all this extra time on my hands is that I FINALLY get to read again! I grew up literally with my nose in a book – at lunch, walking down the halls, when I was supposed to be paying attention in math class, weekends, holidays, all summer long. And then I met DAAP, and all (novel) reading (for fun) ceased.
Bookshelf of reading for my thesis
I didn’t even have time to read the required reading for my classes how was I supposed to devour a good novel? In short, I didn’t. I probably read 5 (non-school-related) books the whole time I was in school, and 3 of those were while I was on planes and trains in Europe.
Reading in the Airport – it’s a terrible picture, but the only one of anyone reading. We flew home the day the last (I think?) Harry Potter book came out.
Because we were doing things like looking out at Paris from the Eiffel Tower
And climbing to the top of Sacre Coeur.
And seeing the Colosseum
And riding the canals of Venice
And eating at amazing cafes.
Here’s an awful picture from the Harry Potter reading night – when we spent the night in the Dublin Airport and it was probably about 3am at this point.
Even after I graduated I was super busy. Wedding planning! Getting Married! Figuring Out How To Live With Nate! Moving! Buying a House! So, when I made my list of resolutions in January, I put reading on it. Then, I had to find a good reading list. Since I moved around so much in high school, I missed a lot of the required reading. I read some books twice, many not at all, and ended up running out of English and Literature classes. I also skipped all the college lit classes, thanks to AP (see: running out of English and Literature classes and making up AP classes for myself) and a major that is not all that concerned with “literature.” Although I think it should be, architecture is very steeped in culture. However, there were a lot of classes to pack into those 6 years, so I was not sad. Until I graduated and realized how many classics I had missed.
And where did I turn for a list of classics I must read? The BBC, of course. Isn’t that where everyone goes? Actually, I think it was just the first list that popped up in Google, and it looked pretty good, so I went with it. I used this list (that I actually found here first, then tracked back to its original, which it didn’t exactly match, so I mixed them together) and added books from my Goodreads feed that look interesting. Which means that my list grows significantly faster than I can read the books off it. But that is OK, I am enjoying making the list and reading the books and keeping the library in business. I currently have 144 classics on my list and maybe 40 or so currently popular books. I have read 22 books since I picked up The Paris Wife by Paula McLain in March. Pretty good progress, if I say so myself.
The start of my second reading career.
I’m not really going to review books here. If you want book reviews, go see Mary Jo at MeReader or check out Goodreads (and if you do that, be my friend), but I do like to track my progress and at least offer whether or not I liked a book and would recommend it. For example, I started Animal Farm last night. At about 12 pages in, I’m not amused. I will finish it because those are THE RULES, but so far I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, classic or not. It will be interesting to read, for sure, as will 1984, which is packaged in the same book. But there is a difference between “interesting” and “I would recommend this book.”
Anyway, I just finished The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. They were so much fun to read! I can see why they inspired such a following, as readers can easily get wrapped up in the adventures of the characters. I enjoy reading because I get to create my own pictures of the characters (especially the villans – trolls and orcs and black riders) so I don’t think I will watch the movies. I enjoyed creating images of the hobbits and elves, the talking and walking trees, and the ring itself.