Long has it been since I’ve been able to pickup a book and read it all the way through to the end. I’m not one to read up the latest trends either. And I’ve never been one of *those readers* who stayed up all night to enjoy a riveting novel. The last time I did read books that intensely was when I was reading World War Z and Slaughter House Five back in my senior year of high school (2007-08, how I miss thee so.)
When I was in high school I considered myself a “punk rock reader”, meaning I only read what wasn’t considered popular by mainstream book culture. This is why I only started reading Harry Potter in the last year, why I used sparked notes to get my way through King Lear in British Literature class, and why I am still hesitant to even bother with the Twilight saga (especially since I’m not the target audience for such a screwy love story).
In high school and college, I loved joy reading different books that caught my attention. My imagination was able to paint pictures in my head of a great literary play of far off galaxies (Star Wars), and PTSD war soldiers who claimed to be abducted by martians (Vonnegut). The last book I can fondly remember reading was “Fire and Rain” by David Browne which told the tale of how 1970 was a pivotal year in ending the optimistic spirit of the 60s, and how pop culture shifted after the Beatles split up. I would like to pen a book in that style about the year 2011, which I feel was a real game changer from the uncreative stagnation of 2009 and 2010 for the world of music (with special thanks to Adele, lol).
My interest in books dwindled after college due to the stress of a four year relationship ending and not being able to hold a job (and I’m still searching for a career today). My life fell into a deep pit of depression for a very long time. Reading books would make me fall asleep after a little while, and I could never read more than a chapter at a time since I read the words slowly. On the flip side, the events of 2014 have largely been a vast improvement in my life with how I’ve re-discovered my sense of self respect, gained valuable work experience, and strengthened my resolve to live life the way I want too. My interest in literature is slowly returning to me now that my joy in life has returned.
Words have become my friends again given how my quality of life has improved. I partially owe this interest returning thanks to comic books like The Walking Dead and Frank Miller’s “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns”. I’ve also started looking back into the poetry of William Wordsworth and Robert Burns. Lastly, I was tipped off to the awesome vampire novels of Anne Rice by a friend. I intend to to read more than I did before, but I will do so at my own pace and with books that I deem to be of a strong quality. I can still be a “punk rock reader” like I used to be. I just need to trust in my own opinions on a book instead of what other critics have to say about it, which makes sense given how I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for Star Wars Episode III.