Loving Books, Round Two

My parents surprised me Sunday night with a Kindle Fire for a graduation present. I was so excited, I bought a book right away and started reading.

How to Love an American Man by Kristine Gasbarre

I absolutely loved it and am sad to say that I finished it today. I heard about this book from Jenna. She has a wonderful blog filled with yummy treats, but she’s also a big time reader. She talked about this book and I’m really excited that I shared her love for it.

Reading used to be my all-time favorite thing to do. In fifth-grade Mrs. Brown would send me outside as a punishment when she caught me reading in class. Oftentimes I was reading books that were assigned to us, but it would be during a time that we were supposed to be doing math work sheets or studying state capitols. — “Inappropriate” as she called my reading during class.

Reading has always been an escape for me. I never really cared for TV as a kid. I preferred playing dress up, dolls, or reading. Later, I read books to escape my life. High school sucked and the characters in my novel were so much more exciting, less catty and interesting than my fellow class-mates.

Later in life, I came across this “issue” again. I was in Army paralegal school (AIT) at Fort Jackson, SC. I spent 10 weeks there in the most boring classes imaginable. Death by powerpoint at its finest. I dreaded sitting in class listening to my monotone sergeant blab on about court martial rulings and disciplinary actions. Instead, I’d stuff a book on the keyboard and read. I was fairly sneaky for a long time. I made it through 2 1/2 books before he caught me. But, when he did… oh boy, I was in trouble.

“Fleury! Are you reading a book!?”

“…. Um… Maybe?”

“Give it to me, and see me after class!”

This said after class meeting consisted of at least 20 minutes of physical punishment in front of my entire class — for reading a book. Not to mention, I was passing ALL of my exams and practical exercises — clearly I had my army education under control, sergeant.

“Up! Down! On your back! Down!” It went on like that for what seemed like an eternity. Needless to say, I was never caught reading in class again.

As I went through college, I began resenting reading. I wasn’t excited to read the books that were assigned. I resorted to spark notes to write all my papers and asked myself, “WHY did I choose English as my major!?” Reading became a chore. A chore that I avoided like the pague.

I honestly don’t think I read an entire book in the last year of college. Somehow I managed to pass all my classes without actually reading the material. This surprised me because the whole reason I chose English as my major was because, well, I loved to read. Key word, loved. I thought that if I chose a major that consisted mostly of reading then I’d enjoy my assignments. Wrong. Yes, I can now write a 10 page paper in a few hours, no problem — but I’d rather spend the afternoon poking my eye ball instead.

This last quarter I longed to read a book. In fact, I did read one while I was in school. I’m such a rebel.

I looked forward to being able to fall in love with reading again. Being a college student caused me to hate reading. Besides the ever-popular study break of facebook, I haven’t read more than a few books in the last few years. I used to remember the days when I’d curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and get lost in a story. Those days were so distant and hazy. I wished that I could read without feeling guiltly. Without thinking, “I should be doing homework right now.”

People would always say, “Oh! You should read THIS book — it was so good!” And I’d say, “Ah, I can’t — I have too much homework.” Summer seemed like a great time to get back into reading. I’m embarrassed to admit, I only read one book: Redeeming Love this summer. That’s pretty sad considering I had three full months to lay in the pool and read.

After finishing a book in three days (on my Kindle), I’m now onto Drowning Ruth (another one of Jenna’s recommendations). I think I’m falling in love again…

Here’s to a new “chapter” (haha… pun) — the Reading Chapter. Goodbye assigned novels, essays and writing assignments. And this time, I get to stop reading when I don’t like a book. I can put it down and NEVER read it again.

XO

Paisley

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