Thursday, October 16, 2014

How I Used to Read

 "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit."~ Ecclesiastes 7:8~

I haven't been posting here in nearly two months, but I have not stopped writing all together.  In fact, I've been writing so much more in my journals since my first Oyan Summer Workshop this June; five pages or more a day on average.  My mind has been very active as of late.
Someone on Facebook asked how other people read, and that sparked a long response from me, so I decided to write a blog post.  Forgive the rambling.

When I was old enough to get in trouble for running, I became interested in the American Girl books.  My mom would read them aloud to me and my older sister (she and I used to share a bedroom and have bunk-beds).  Then there came the first Boxcar Children book.  Whenever my mom or I had a cold, one of us would read aloud our hardback edition to the other one.
Reading out loud is a very special practice to me still.  A few years ago, I read aloud some of Inkheart to my mom whenever she drove me places.
Recently, I've been reading aloud the Tale of Two Cities to my sister, and pausing now and then to reread a section to make sure I understand it.

When I was younger, I was nearly never satisfied with stories because few of them were as exciting as I wanted them to be.  That's why the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie was so special to me when I first saw it in theaters.  I was eight then, and very much desired adventures.

 I came up with my own exciting stories to please my appetite (age 6-10), even though they didn't always make sense when my mom asked me questions about them.  I just really wanted excitement so I made it up for myself and drew pictures of what happened (I am not proud of the pictures, but they were a good enough substitute for words since my handwriting was way too large still).  My first picture book I made when I was five was of a princess captured by pirates and rescued by a hero in a red cape (no he wasn't Superman.  His name started either with an A or a B) and they lived happily ever after.  I gave the little book away to someone for a Christmas present. :P I wish I'd kept it. lol

When I discovered Nancy Drew, I got into the habit of reading ahead in the book.  Actually, I would only check out a Nancy Drew book to find an exciting part and not even read the rest of the book.  I'd get excited, and then the danger would pass and then I would take the book back to the library.  My sister would tell me to stop reading ahead, but it took me a while to do that.  Around the time I read the Atherton series by Patrick Carmen (good science fiction fantasy).

I'll tell you a little story about the Inkworld trilogy in a library near my home where my sister used to be a Shelver.  Once upon a time, I discovered the Inkheart books at the library.  They were the first books I read that had bad language in them, and so it was a weighty decision to read them, but I really wanted to because the movie had enchanted me.  And so I was allowed to read them.

When I got them from the library... I don't know how it came into my head, but it seemed like the logical thing to do: I grabbed a sharpie and blotted out the bad words.  No, you don't need to scold me for "ruining" a library book and making librarians upset.  I didn't think it was wrong at the time.  Well, there was a little voice in the back of my head saying, "You probably will make someone mad."  I felt quite... mischievous and adventurous when I did it, with a grin, kind of like Ellie in Up.
But technically, the books weren't mine.  They belonged to the library.
The funny thing is that the books are about INK and words and books.  Maybe I thought it was appropriate to blot out the d words with ink because of that.
Because words can bite, I told myself.
And the Inkspell (Book two) copy they had was already not in very good condition anyway; it was paperback and the cover was tearing.  And I blotted out the bad words in that one, and in Inkdeath too, till my sister found out and told me to stop.
So I bought my own copies of the books and have been blotting out the words to my heart's content, since I own them now, plus a copy of the first book in German (Tintenherz), which has a lovely cover.  Oh, and the Inkspell copy the library had was sold to a girl for a quarter, so now she doesn't have to read the bad words. lol  And yes, to reassure you, I don't blot out words in library books anymore, though it has been tempting. 

Jane Eyre took a year to read.  I would pick it up and read a few chapters over the course of a week, and then set it aside for a few months, and then pick it back up again.  But I was so proud when I finished it.  Now I feel so young, because reading all these books for the first time suddenly doesn't feel like so long ago.  Life is so short. 

The way I read has changed very much since three years ago when I went to a co-op and discovered symbolism in books.  Before that, I only read a book if it interested me.  I would switch off my own commentary and just read the story as it was, and not think about what I was reading except for how it made me feel.  I didn't pay attention to the theme of the story, the messages, the writing style of the author, the DNA.  But now I have so much to think about when I read, so I don't skim much anymore, unless I'm very bored or must finish the book to take it back to the library.  Now I stop reading now and then to think, "Ooh, that was good dialogue.  Take note."  or "Oh, now that makes sense with the theme of the story." 

How did you read when you were younger?  What are the first books you remember reading?