Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Discount ticket to anywhere?

You know what I really hate? Picking out a book, reading the first 25 pages only to discover the book was not what you expected and even worse, it's depressing.

You know what really gets me going? High school book choices these days. Long gone are the classics, writing that was superb, sprinkled with new vocabulary and styles, stories for the imagination, and inspiration for the wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. Oh no. Instead, teachers choose books about suicide and rape, scandals and infidelity. And it's not wonder the up-and-coming generation is a freak-show. Alas, I digress. Kind of.

The small town I'm in for the summer is, to be frank, quite boring. The fun part about being here is this is a stereotypical small town. Everyone really does know everyone. Gossip is as rampant here as crude oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. Anyway, I mainly spend my free time reading. I go to the library so frequently and request books--yes I have to request books from other libraries (read: I'm in the middle of nowhere)--the librarians are probably either highly amused or very irritated with me. I love reading. How can you not? I'll never forget what my mom told me when I was little:

You can go anywhere you want to in a book.

I'll never forget it. I love picking out a book and loving it so much and wanting to know what happens and you can't read fast enough and you want to skip over some of the lines and sentences but you don't for fear you will miss something important or wonderful or exciting so you read faster and faster but your eyes and your mind can't keep up but you're dying to know! You just need to know! Wonderful. Or the fact that in one afternoon I can go to...Minnesota (read the Betsy-Tacy series), or on an adventure with a dragon (read My Father's Dragon--a favorite from 3rd grade), or be a part of the Hunger Games (yes they are good), or fly on a broomstick (duh, Harry Potter), or go to Italy (Brava Valentine, by Adriana Trigani, but read Very Valentine first), or solve a mystery (Nancy Drew!), or go to London (any of Sophie Kinsella's books), or...the list really does go on.

Then there are times where you pick up a book with great expectations and high hopes, only to find it's like the books you read in high school. Boring. Depressing. "Realistic" (which is TOTALLY a cop-out). Minus Shakespeare who has the ability to incorporate subtle, yet brilliant, witty things into each of his works. Read "Twelfth Night"? No? You must! Hilarious (the jester is wonderful) and just a good story. Also "Much Ado About Nothing." Read first, then watch the movie with Emma Thompson and Denzel Washington. Fabulous.

So today I picked up yet another book about Italy, about 101 small towns in Italy. I flipped through this gigantic book and can hardly way to plunk down and read it.

The moral of this tale: read a book. I'm full, just bursting with suggestions!!!

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." Victor Hugo

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