I have recently come to the conclusion that I have been pretty darn lazy lately. Not in the riding or exercise department (shoot today I planked using a Bosoo ball for 50 seconds, plus the walk and the ride home). Nope I am talking I have been taking the easy way out in reading.
I love to read, always have and plan to always will! Given the chance, my genres of choice are fantasy and science fiction. But I will read anything that looks interesting. Lately, though, I have not been challenging myself much on the literary material I have chosen. I love good zombie books, sword swinging knights and post-apocalyptic survival. Which is all well and good (nor will I give these up), but its all I have been reading. There is SO much more out there.
It’s almost like my reading muscles are getting mushy, and when a muscle feels that way, the only answer is to make it work harder. This means its time to pick some real books.
You might be wondering, what a real book is in my mind.
Well there are many different examples:
Some are classics I’ve never gotten around to reading, or if started, actually finished it. I am currently in the middle of Walden, by Henry Thoreau. Also on my Kindle, started but not completed, is The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe. Given the time these were written, and the writing style of the day, I have to work a bit, and pay attention to what is happening to make sure I follow along. Shoot often I have to reread a page or two to catch what was missed!
But, there is a reason some books are called classics, and many aren’t. My goal is to read more of them, if for no other reason, to have my own opinion on whether I do like them or not. I’ve read The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, and wasn’t impressed, but Dumas’ The Three Musketeers was great.
Then there is the learning routine. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a good science book. I started Darwin’s Origin of the Species long ago, and it’s still on the Kindle, but I am looking for something more current. I’ve been pondering a good book about Yellowstone National Park, or maybe something about oceanography. I have often considered subscribing to a good science magazine, but I never end up reading them for some reason. A book though, I will work my way through.
There is no way I can leave Science Fiction entirely. But on my Kindle are the complete works or Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs and a few others from back when Science Fiction was derived from the limitless possibilities of space and exploration, instead of the Hunger Games stuff we get now. it’s time to reintroduce myself to this! For my fantasy fix, I am currently half way through the reread of The Game of Thrones series plus reading the Westeros History as well. That will keep me satisfied for quite a while!
Though I am not a BIG fan, I do occasionally like a decent biography. I heard about a new one about John Wayne on NPR, and that has piqued my interest some. Though there may be others out there I might like better.
Then there is just those books that make you think or twist your mind. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell was one of these. Another is Mink River by Brian Doyle. I started it and got confused, and decided it wasn’t worth the effort. But it’s one of those that keeps coming back to me in snippets. I want to know what the heck happened. so I will start it again, and this time finish!
Looking back at all this, I have some lofty goals! Now I know I will “fall off the wagon” some if a good book comes out from an author or series I like. Sadly, I have taken Clive Cussler off this list. A lot of his recent books have been pretty bad. (in my opinion). If a new Joe Kurmaski book, or the New George Martin GOT comes out, well, ALL current books will stop! (however I just read that GOT may not be till 2016!! Really???)
In the past, I have prided myself on how many books I read in a year. If I stick to this plan, there won’t be near as many as usual, but the quality will be higher. Being a kindle reader, I can jump between books, which will keep me from getting overly tired or bored with a particularly difficult read. If I can stick to this idea, the reading muscles will be MUCH less mushy!
Read like the wind folks! And reading suggestions are always accepted!