how reading every day makes me think about my everyday reading

#seewhatididthere #iknowthedifferencebetweenthetwoterms #readmygrammartumblr

I read David Levithan’s Every Day over spring break, mostly because I wanted to read something that no one was telling me to read, but also because it counts for the YALSA/The Hub Reading Challenge. I am weeks behind on that, but I want to do it even though I have no time to do it, and I had Every Day on my shelf from when I got it at the YA Literature Symposium, so there you go. Check one off the list.

Anyway (now I’m going to assume you’ve read the book or can look up a summary elsewhere, because I HATE when people talk about books almost exclusively in plot summary, and I just want to talk about one particular thing), one of the things A talks about a lot is how ze (s/he) sometimes falls into a body where ze can just be passive all day, not do anything to further that person’s life goals or even to do a lot of basic things that person does on a regular basis. Ze just takes things as they come and barely responds to them.

It got me thinking about how I read things.

I set huge goals for my reading. Even if I didn’t, being in school, not to mention being a homebody, not to mention never wanting to be bored on the train, I would read tons of books anyway. But I am so good at reading incredibly fast, like up to 100 pages an hour, that I forget that sometimes it’s nice to slow down and respond a bit more.

Some books don’t invite that, and that’s fine. Sometimes it’s just about a thrilling plot. But most of the time, meh books could be better than meh if I did some more writing about them, which obviously implies more thoughtful thinking and pondering about them.

This blog helps. Like, I will now remember this book better than others I have read, because I have written about this one reference point. Passive boringness and doing things just to do them, check. A and I both do that. But it worries me that I can’t think of a lot of favorite or meaningful books from the past few years. And the ones that I know I really enjoyed, that I tell everyone to read, like Code Name Verity, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic I mostly just remember that I loved – a lot of the plots and details elude me, and even though I would buy the two that I don’t already own, I wouldn’t have time to reread them for ages, because I don’t reread things, and because I don’t have time, and because GoodReads is a crutch that makes me not want to reread things because then they don’t technically “count” as reading different things or spending the time and pages. (I know that’s ridiculous, but I have some obsessive compulsive urges, and that’s one of them.)

When did I stop being a person who could point to a character who was her to a T, or who I wanted to be to a T? When did I stop having lines of poetry that I could recite because I adore them that much? When did I start having a really fast brain for comprehension and identification of problematic elements and stop having an aesthetic brain that sometimes read for the art instead of for the reading of it?

I have probably said this to myself before, but I should probably start listening to more podcasts and more books on tape, just so things are a challenge again, and just so that I can force myself to be thoughtful and to pay attention, because I find listening to those types of things immensely difficult. Also, more writing and reflecting about what I’m reading.

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2 thoughts on “how reading every day makes me think about my everyday reading

  1. I will hold you to this! Also, would I like Everyday? I am skeptical about David Levithan. I want to love him because of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and because of all the things he does through Scholastic? but somehow it’s not working out for me.

    • I do love him more as an editor than a writer, and I thought WGWG was mad boring, which is also why I was reluctant to pick up any John Green until I had to for school. Every Day is fine but a little gimmicky. I don’t think you would adore it.

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