Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Book a Month

Ever since my earliest days of elementary school I have been a book worm.  In my youth I eagerly devoured entire books in one sitting,  a book a day.   In my adulthood though, reading books has become a sort of guilty indulgence to be taken in small doses.  It's too easy for me to get into my reading zone and neglect kids, housework, and cooking in favor of "just finishing this one more page".  As a result, for most of my adult life I have usually read a book or two a year, usually while on vacation and the rest of my reading would come in little 15 minute increments when I would read newspaper and magazine articles.   

A few years ago I attended an Enrichment meeting where the speaker taught about the joy of reading and how important it is to broaden our minds.  Although what she said wasn't necessarily earth shatteringly different, it made a deep impression on me.  I realized then that in fear of becoming a distracted mother, that I had completely neglected my deep-seated love for reading for years and I missed it terribly.  That's when I decided to join our ward's book group.

I soon found that a book a month was just about perfect for me.  I could get lost in my own world for a day or two while I read books I never would have picked out of my own accord.  In the last few years, I have read old classics, fun teen novels, and everything in between and my life has been richer for it.

At over 1000 pages with tiny typeset to boot, our January selection of, "Atlas Shrugged," by Ayn Rand was daunting to say the least.  

Instead of a couple days of being in another world, this one has taken an entire week and the state of my house reflects that fact with perfect clarity.  Although a somewhat depressing book, it held so many parallels to the political and economic woes of today, that I was enraptured.

As the societies of the world began to demonize and punish business owners and their wealth, the innovative and intelligent producers of the world simply went on strike refusing to be coerced by the government and the non-thinkers of the world.  Although fatalistic, I found it one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read.  I recognize that many of those same early signs are happening right here in our own society and I wonder if we are the frogs in a pot of slowly boiling water, not recognizing the warning signs all around us.  While I did not agree with her views on morality or religion, her views on politics,  economics, and government were eye-opening to me.

The fact that I just wrote that last paragraph about one of the ten longest novels of the English language is a testament to how far I've come in the last few years.  Not only was I not scared off by the length or subject matter, but I enjoyed it completely without guilt.  (Okay maybe there was that one time when I picked up Spencer 30 minutes late from lacrosse, so I could squeeze in a few more pages where I felt a *tad* guilty.)

Are you a read-all-at-once kind of person or are you better at breaking into bite-size chunks than I am?  What is your favorite novel? 



Denise said...

I am a read it all at once kind of person...never good for my family.

And...coincidentally, my favorite book is another Ayn Rand novel, the Fountainhead.

Deanne said...

I'm so impressed that you finished this book! I have it sitting on my counter and haven't started it yet. The task seems daunting. And now I'm pretty sure I won't have it entirely read by book group. (I'll be lucky if I have it started)

I need a book to pull me through if I'm going to read it quickly. It really has to capture my attention. And still it takes me many sittings to finish.

Charlene said...

I enjoy reading books and I tend to be the all at once if the book has grabbed my attention! I'm in need of some book ideas to read so any ideas will be helpful. I just finished reading,"The Help" and loved it!

C and Co. said...

I would love to read all at once but find myself having to break it down into 15 minute segments. I'm currently reading Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" and love it! I wish I had a day to just sit and finish it! I'm sure everyone else in the free world has already read it. Arg.

Honey Mommy said...

When I read I get caught up and feel like I have to finish quickly. I tend to neglect things too... I need to learn to be better at reading a little at a time.

Ashby said...

I'm a read all at once type of person too. And I would eventually LOVE to read Atlas Shrugged. I've heard many good things about it.

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