I am turning 30 years old this year, and it has taken me about 24 years to realize that what I read should not matter to anyone else. And, even more unfortunately, that what other people read should not matter to me.
Because in the end reading is about immersing yourself in a world that makes you happy. And who are we to judge each other for what in those worlds makes us happy.
I read romance novels. I love romance novels. Some of them.
I read fantasy. I read YA. I have a hard time reading literary fiction, not that I don’t love some works of literary fiction but my brain feels better when I’m in an urban fantasy world, surrounded by the supernatural.
You can judge me for it if you want, but I’m going to let my freaky little book flag fly.
However just because I read these things, and enjoy them does not mean there cannot be discourse surrounding certain books.
We can enjoy books and still be critical of their content. But when it comes to talking to someone who loves something that deserves criticism, is it not better to approach them gently instead of confront them? Perhaps they don’t know, or understand what might be problematic in the book they’ve just read.
Criticize the content, not the reader.
After all, aren’t readers supposed to be more compassionate?
Sometimes in life I struggle. We all do. Sometimes those struggles swallow you up and drag you to what I call “the pits”, modeled after a sandy wasteland that used to exist near my childhood home.
You try and struggle through the sand, make your way to the top, and on the way your reading is one other thing that makes it seem worse. Not the act of reading itself, but the act of feeling pressured to do so.
Giant, human sized…NFL player sized to be read piles, towering next to beds, toppling over when nudged. eReader filling, overwhelming books, just waiting for you to devour them.
But trust me. Its okay. The beautiful thing about books is that they last forever. And sometimes, they can help you get out of the pits.
Grab a book. Any book. A book you’ve read a million times, or a book that you’d never thought you would enjoy.
Read about people in pain. Read about happy people. Read about people slaying dragons and allow them to help you slay yours.
Pile up blankets and pillows and sink into them and remember that when you feel alone, if you look in a book you can always find your friends.
And please if you need help, ask for it. Don’t be in the dark alone. Don’t be in the pits alone. Your story is unfinished, still developing. Don’t end it before it’s end should come.
What is reading all about? What motivates me to do it? What motivates YOU to do it? What do we get from it?
For me reading has been many things. It has been a struggle, as I took forever to learn and resented the fact.
It has been a solace, when I realized a written word could comfort me in a way that those around me couldn’t do.
It has been my way of traveling when I’ve been sick, and recently my way of making friend when I’ve been traveling.
This blog was meant to be dedicated to my love of reading and somewhere along the line I got mixed up and confused, obsessed with who was reading this, who was listening.
Forgetting that this blog is just meant to be a tribute to the books I love, and even those I don’t. My little corner of the web where I can talk to whoever is willing to listen.
And maybe I’ll pick up a few new friends along the way.
I am Ashley and I have a huge book buying problem.
I recently downloaded the Delicious Library, and using points bought a little bluetooth scanner because I am a total nerd who wants to catalogue all the things.
I decided to give it a go, and using this program catalogued the books on my shelves into Read and To Be Read piles.
I own 675 books. I have only read 260 of them. That gives me 415 books to read, not counting those which are on my TBR list that I want to take out from the library.
This is my pact, to not buy anymore books UNLESS they are the continuation of a series. This is my pact to only read books that I currently own from now on.
We’ll see how this goes, then, shall we?
I’ve fallen down on the job when it comes to updating this in 2015 so I am going to try and do a better job with that, and will only really be taking on a couple of reading challenges at a time.
So I’ve set my GoodReads goal to 85 for this year, since I read 84 books last year.
I am trying to figure out my own kind of way of reviewing books still, and find my footing in terms of that.
Please let me know what you would like to see as well.