To celebrate National Reading Month, The Big Green\’s editorial staff decided to let our readers in on our secret affair with books, which varies in style and form for each of us. Bookish editor? Is that a stereotype?
From childhood favorites to more recent college reads, here\’s what\’s on our minds this month when it comes to the written word.
We read to know we are not alone -C.S. Lewis
As a consolation, my mom and dad got an athlete and a singer (my brother and sister, respectively.) In me, they got a reader- something that will most likely always be a hobby and never a profession. (But seriously, if you ever hear of someone being a paid reader of novels, short stories, news articles and Oriental Trading Company catalogues, send the info my way, please.) Maybe I should\’ve paid more attention to my dad when he would show me how to hit a ball or field a hit, or stopped laughing long enough during a choir concert to actually sing something. No, instead of that, I decided to read on my porch swing, on the heat vent in our dining room, between the door frame in the kitchen, against the couch cushion…
[heat]But I have absolutely no regrets in reading as much as I have. I started off at age 3 reading The Prince Has a Boo-boo and graduated to The Berenstein Bears series quickly after that. Once I was 7, Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny were my best friends while I’d read The Boxcar Children novels. I’ve graduated now to include classics like Alice in Wonderland and The Handmaid’s Tale, while still sufficing my love for Harry Potter. Ahhh, the great adventures of reading…
In 2nd grade, I won the class reading contest at the end of the year. I first had a goal of 100 books to finish, but by the end of the contest, I had a total of 500 books and 5 carnations at our year-end party. My mom thought I needed an incentive, or maybe just was rewarding my good reading skills, but she offered me a dime for each book I read. So, I was $50 richer in May and bought- you guessed it- more books. I wonder how happy my mom was after that.
So, I suppose I am what I am- a reader and a big ol’ nerd.
– Molly Benningfield, Arts & Culture Editor
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you\’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss
Judging by the many free personal pan pizzas I racked up in elementary school (which may have inadvertently added to my chubby 3rd-grade frame) through the Book It! program, I must have really enjoyed reading as a child. I was never satisfied with my little world back then, so I escaped to the Prairie with Laura Ingalls or inside Anne Frank\’s attic. Life, for me, was not so exciting at age 9 and I always had my eyes on higher things that only now I can begin to make out through the same dark brown eyes.
Books are windows into life\’s many possibilities that we can\’t see from our backyards. They tell us that there\’s more out there than what we already know. For a kid, this is big stuff. You mean I could survive the wilderness? Or travel through a Wrinkle in Time? Or even change the world like Anne?
I admittedly don\’t have as much time to read for pleasure during the school year today, but I still have to escape every now and again. You might find me reading something by Jeffrey Eugenides, Toni Morrison or magazines like Mother Jones and the New Yorker. I’m still at my most captivated when wrapped up in a delicious story, but nothing can beat the years when most everything I read opened up a new world. Not only do I miss the pizza incentive, but also when reading flushed my youthful face with humanity’s infinite possibilities. That’s a high I’m still searching for.
– Sarah Hunko, Editor-in-Chief
\”My alma mater was books, a good library – I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity” – Malcolm X
I always hate being asked about my favorite book. Whether it\’s coming from a new friend or a silly online survey, the question always leaves me muttering something like, \”I don\’t know…I have a lot of favorites.\” Because I do.
[dolly4]Books give us ideas, stories, a glimpse into others\’ lives and dreams. Reading has been an important part of my life since, well, birth. Even before I could actually read, I would catch my parents trying to skip pages when reading to me before bed time. Probably because I always picked the longest books on the shelf.
When I did learn to read, I enjoyed classic authors like Beverly Clearly, Rohald Dahl and Judy Blume. Trips to the local library were highly anticipated, especially in the summer when the library offered prizes for the number of books read by August. I usually checked out way more books than I could ever read in the few weeks they were checked out (I still do this – I must get excited about the free access to books). Thank goodness for renewals.
My longest lasting \”phase\” was probably The Baby-sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin. When I sold my entire \”BSC\” collection at a summer garage sale, I may have been $40 richer, but I definitely felt like I lost a piece of my childhood.
Since I\’ve been in college, I\’ve struggled to find time to read for pleasure. Now I pay a lot of money to read whatever my professors find important. And sometimes, I get lucky and actually find myself enjoying the reading selections.
Because of this limited free time, my \”Books to Read\” list keeps growing and growing. I think there is probably an infinite number on there. I figure as long as I can get a book read before it appears in a movie, I\’m doing alright (I finally got to read The DaVinci Code last summer). Hopefully, every few months I\’ll be able to check off another book on my list. But I don\’t think I\’ll ever be able to answer the dreaded \”favorite book\” question – there are just too many great reads to choose from.
– Ashley K. Symons, Assistant Editor
“Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.” – Mary Schmich
All I hear in my journalism, IAH, and ISS classes is that our generation needs to read more – newspapers, classic novels, anything. All I want these professors to hear is that if you want me to read more, stop making me read so many crappy textbooks. Not to sound like one of those students who writes “I don’t read” under Favorite Books in their Facebook profile, but I am burnt out on reading. After reading over 100 pages about plant biology and the rococo period, both of which can be interesting, I don’t really want to read my Jon Krakauer book. All I want to do is zone out in front of a glowing TV watching episodes of Real World and Best Week Ever that I’ve already seen four times. Just being honest.
But there is a star at the end of my illiterate fall- summer and the sun. Maybe I need the summer to read because I am such a slow reader. In the time it takes someone to read three books, I read one. Maybe I just savor the words more. Maybe I don’t want to finish the books because I don’t want to let the characters go. That must have been it when I finished Dear Mr. Henshaw in 2nd grade. I really loved Leigh; I think I wanted to meet him.
So for now, I’ll be waiting for the end of the spring semester. The sun will shine and I can spend three hours in a park reading two chapters of a good book. I’m a slow reader, remember.
– Shannon Hoffman, State Side Editor
From TBG staff, thanks for reading!