Friday, April 03, 2009

Reading

School has been rather stressful recently. I love when people say things like "the year is winding down" when it really just means that professors are assigning their massive "grand finale" assignments. Yes, even though English majors don't have to take final exams exactly, we still have to turn in giant research papers. Seeing as I'm in about five English classes at once this semester, that means that I'll be up to my ears in books and essays for the next few weeks, trying to get everything together and streamlined into presentable papers.

Now, this isn't as horrible as it sounds. I love reading, and I love writing, and I'm even starting to get a certain fondness for the critical essays and approaches to literature that I used to abhor. I still do hate doing them, especially for works that I really don't enjoy (I've had to read Little Women this semester, for example). However, I am coming to terms with a certain appreciation of the talent and observation it takes to make connections between a variety of texts, forging something new and cohesive out of works that are old and separate. Still, that's time-consuming work, and as much as I enjoy reading, sometimes I feel like there just isn't enough time to read everything I want to.

High on that list of things I want to read is the Bible, of course. Granted, between all my study over the years, I've probably read the vast majority of it. Still, I want to read it straight through, to get a better understanding of its narrative and how it works together. More than that, I want to get better at doing my daily Bible study. I think most days I do read a Bible chapter or two, but still, I don't feel that I'm really interacting with the Scriptures enough. This is what should sustain and guide me, after all, and I know that when I do have a more solid routine of daily times of quiet reflection, things in life tend to go quite a bit better. I can't rely on weekly Bible study meetings and whatever the pastor decides to preach on Sundays (although both of those are good things). The Bible is right there on the shelf, waiting to be read.

So are the rest of my books, for that matter, and I do intend to read them all. In fact, when I imagine myself in old age (scary thought, but I do), I see a warm, friendly office and library with walls and walls of old, worn, well-read books of all types. I get a great pleasure out of reading and it's a shame that more people don't. However, most books are only read once or twice. I would hope that my Bible is read countless times throughout life, and more than being read, I hope that it would be understood and actually make impact.

9 comments:

Brandon said...

I know what you mean about not having enough time. I've probably got ten or eleven books (or more) on the shelves that I've been planning to read for some time now. I never seem to find the time to read them though. I did manage to get in "the Stepford Wives" back during Christmas break. And I've finally gotten around to starting on the Harry Potter books. So, I guess that's progress.

Like you, I love reading. I thought it was funny the description of yourself as an old man. I've had that same thought. I've always planned that if I can ever build my own house there'll be a room set aside to serve as an office/library. I'd probably never leave it.

Anyway, good luck finishing up everything. You'll get it. :)

TRiG said...

Little Women isn't too bad, is it? The sequels, I'll admit, are unbearable. Jo's Boys is positivly saccharine.

TRiG.

Jay said...

Thanks, Brandon! I hope you finish everything you want to get to as well. :)

And TRiG, Little Women wasn't too bad, but I think it's so far outside of my normal reading taste that it was difficult to get into, and I thought my taste was rather diverse and expansive. I found it to be just a little too sweet, I guess, but I suppose that's appropriate given its place in history and its intended audience.

A. Friend said...

I hear you about the Bible.

TRiG said...

How are you getting on with Kim?

TRiG.

Jay said...

TRiG: Not well at all, I'm afraid. I've been so focused on assigned readings that I haven't had a chance to really dive into it. I did read Siddhartha recently, though. Not Kipling, but still set in India. :)

The Vegas Art Guy said...

What got me really reading this last year was participating in the 50 book challenge on shelfari.com. The goal is to read 50 books in 12 months. And in 9 months I've read 39, including at least three that deal with Christianity.

TRiG said...

And in 9 months I've read 39, including at least three that deal with Christianity.Did that include Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris? A short little book. I recommend it.

I've been trying to read The Awakening by Kate Chopin, for months. I've finally forced my way through the first two chapters, and am now absolutely absorbed in it. Yay! Back into reading mode. It feels good.

TRiG.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Actually they were "The Screwtape Letters" "Mere Christianity" and "What's So Great About Christianity". I also started reading "10 Secrets for The Man in The Mirror" along with "Frankenstein" (for the 4th time) and "Something Wicked This Way Comes"

I will check out your recommendation as well when I get a chance.