Something that is probably not surprising to anyone who follows this blog or knows me in person is that I was voted “Class Bookworm” by my class in High school. It was something that I sort of campaigned for in that I told my friends and some of my classmates to spread the word but I found out later that this wasn’t really necessary.
I thought that I was relatively invisible in High School. I didn’t participate in many activities, I was in the Art Club (& Art Honor Society) as well the National Honor Society and I was in a games club that played Dungeons and Dragons (which consisted literally of just my friends). So I was surprised to find that a huge portion of my class hadn’t even thought of someone other than me for bookworm.
I knew that a portion of my classmates looked to me when they were struggling with a subject, or wanted to know if a test was hard. (Literally there was one time in Chemistry where a girl turned around and asked what I got and when I responded with a B+ she said “Oh thank god, I thought I just didn’t understand it but if you got a B I don’t have to feel bad about my C.”)
Then I remembered how many times different people would see me reading. How often I read in class when I had finished my work. I wasn’t one of those kids who was on their phone when I had down time. I always had a book out. To the point that it was always sitting on my desk just in case.
The one moment where I think about how strong I felt about reading was when a girl who didn’t really talk to me much but was sitting near me in English class turned to me and said, “Weren’t you reading a different book yesterday?”
“Yeah, I was.”
“You had a different book the day before that you were almost done with. Why, aren’t you reading it any more? Did you not like it?”
“No, it was a good book, I just finished it.”
“You finished it. Both of them?”
“Oh, I don’t think I’ve finished a book since like sixth grade.” She laughed awkwardly and like shifted away to talk to someone else.
The thing that struck me about that conversation was half that I don’t think I could comprehend a world where the last book I had read in its entirety was several years in the past, but that someone else could not comprehend a world where you can finish a book in a day. I used to read books in one sitting. I would read multiple books in a day, or parts of multiple books in a day. I would stay up until 3 in the morning reading to finish a book even though I had to get up in three hours to go to school again. It was not only something that I enjoyed doing but something that helped me keep my head on straight when I was buckling under pressure.
One of the ways that I got through High School was that I wasn’t allowed to read until I finished all of my homework. I took multiple AP classes my last two years and multiple languages. I had a lot, A LOT, of homework, and yet I still managed to read scores of books on top of those that I needed to read for my English classes. Partly due to the fact that after toiling through twenty statistics problems, and reading the next chapter for AP Chem, and doing a practice exam for AP Government was that I could pick up a book and read about something else.
At that time it was mostly paranormal romance books. I would grab a Kresley Cole novel and read it in one sitting, about three hours, and then go to bed.
Last night I read the entirety of Mr. Penumbra’s 24 hour books store by Robin Sloan in one sitting, through the night. This was something I haven’t done in forever. This was partly because I have been in a reading slump of late, but also because I have been so stressed out with college, over loading myself that I could not finish all of my work, and in turn could not read without feeling guilty. I couldn’t sit through a whole book feeling like I could be using that time to study more. When I felt guilty reading, I just wouldn’t read.
I’m glad that I was able to read a book that was able to enthrall me so totally that I didn’t feel guilty. Somehow I still feel guilty even when I’m not at school. I hope that I can get back into the habit of reading like a normal person this semester. Actually, less like a normal person and more like a person who lives off of stories instead of air.
Bibliomancy tomorrow per usual. *fingers crossed* We will be discussing The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. (It is Taylor’s choice and a good one)
I will hopefully have a review up for Mr. Penumbra’s on Friday. :O
A review. On Friday. Unheard of. (I talked about why earlier up there)