Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I thought about quitting

Reading, in Seward Park, on a sunny Seattle day.
Posted by Melissa Baumgart
I finished my first book!

Well, of the "Read a Book a Week" challenge, not my first book ever.  Duh.  Although, there have been times in my life when I felt like I would never finish a book.  I picked them up in abundance, read a few pages and decide them to be flat, contrived or just plain old bad.  My husband, Jamie, wrote this in the front page of a book he bought me in 1997:
"Melissa,  After you read this book...then maybe we can get you another one.   
With stern affection, Jamie."
The book was titled, Self-Reliance. (Inspirations from Ralph Waldo Emerson.)  I truly believe Jamie thought I would never finish that book.  And therefore I would never be gifted another book.  Ever.  However, I can be determined to not give up in the face of those nay-sayers thinking I'll quit, and I read that entire book.  Lord, I am nearly 3 figures in debt due to the fact that I was told by a few people that I would give up on my graduate school.  Well, that and the inner compass leading me to my true destiny.  (As an aside, Please, let this still be true, and let one of the midwifery schools I applied to call me.  Soon!)

Regardless, what I am trying to say is that, historically speaking,  I have not been a reader.  In my undergrad I majored in English, and was horribly embarrassed by my lack of knowledge around the classic books that everyone else had read.  The truth is, I hated some of them.  Maybe I am too low brow for fine literature?  Maybe, like my taste and aptitude for puns, I fall into the category of low?

Fine with me.  Call me tasteless, call me average and mainstream...I loved this book that I read, The Descendants.  It wasn't all artsy and hard to follow.  It was simple, direct, emotional and real.  But, I have to admit, as I read the fist page, I thought about quitting.  I thought it sounded flat and contrived, like so many others.  I read on, given my commitment to the blog, and my commitment to proving Jamie wrong about my reading ability. (Yes! Still, after 15 years.)  And not 10 or 15 pages into the book, I was hooked.  I wonder how many other books I might have loved if I never gave up on them.

I started a new book today, a day early.  So far I like it.  It seems a bit fancy, in that as soon as I started figuring out the story line and who was who, the next chapter threw me for a loop with a new person in the first person, and I had no f'n idea who they were.  Well, I did, but my idea made no sense given the first chapters.  I guess I'll just have to keep reading and hope it all becomes clear.

And hope that I love it.  I really do.  Otherwise, this week is gonna be hard.  Because as much as I loved The Descendants, it took a lot of time.  Time squeezed in between school, parenting, studying, blogging, sleeping, eating and watching TV.  (Speaking of, I dreamt last night that I was hanging with the Kardashians.  Kris Humphries was flirting with me, and while I don't find him attractive, I still flirted back.  No one cared since Kim had already divorced him.  It was just weird that he was even there.)

How are you all doing with your reading?

Can I convince anyone else to read The Descendants?  I need someone to talk to about it!

Don't forget to let us know where you stand on the poll?  Are you reading a book a week?  Are you reading 2 books this month?  Or are you cheering us on, and maybe reading a book at your leisure?



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