Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Books I Read

I spend a lot of time reading. Nearly always, whenever I leave my home, I bring a book with me, just in case there is an opportunity to read. I have loved reading my whole life. I can remember as a small child reading Goosebumps and Wayside School and things. I can remember being in the middle school and reading my first real novel: Sphere, by Michael Crichton. I can also remember my best friend buying Lord of the Rings and reading it, then passing it along for me to read, too. (There were three of us that would read books and then pass them along to each other to read, that is, assuming they were good.) I can't recall if Tolkien was the reason I fell in love with the fantasy genre or not, but I am irrevocably devoted to fantasy novels. Terry Brooks was the love of my literature life growing up, and I ate through all 20+ books quickly.

I could go on and on about fantasy books for a while, but I won't. This post is about the books I read, which implies more than just one genre if you think about it long and hard. So, it should not surprise you that I also read a lot of Science-Fiction, too. Sci-fi is closely related to fantasy that I struggle to tell the difference, but there are some books that are unconditionally science-fiction. For instance, STAR WARS novels were plentiful, and still are, and I read them as often as I read my Bible, if not more...

I also developed a deep appreciation and interest in Classic books. This genre is difficult to classify, but Classic to me means books that are old and contain an important element to literature and history. I remember reading 1984 when I was volunteering as a tutor, and I shamelessly fell in love with it. In fact, Orwell's masterpiece is still one of my all time favorite books. Lord of the Flies, Brave New World, Of Mice and Men, Cat's Cradle (I didn't like Slaughterhouse Five), and the like are all excellent reads. I still enjoy reading these old books, and I soon hope to read some Faulkner.

In short, I've spent much of my life reading books. I got hooked on John Grisham once and read many of his books back to back to back. There is a wonderful feeling to opening a book and enjoying it so much that you sit and read the entire thing in one sitting, which I did with Hawkes Harbor, by S.E. Hinton. Going outside on a beautiful day with a book to read is an excellent way to spend a day.

I imagine I will continue to have a passion for literature my whole life. My wife likes to read, too, and so I'm sure our kids will. We both want to house a mini-library collection of books in our home in the future. The written word is fantastic, and I suppose we owe thanks and gratitude to Gutenberg and our ancestors who decided to develop a system of writing. I just don't think I'd enjoy an oral tradition based society.

1 comment:

Sailor Matt said...

Carrying on an oral tradition requires close personal interaction with people. I am much better at retreating into iso and shunning inter-personal contact, so the written language gets my vote, too.