Discussion Posts

Discussion Post: Reading Classics

I have always been a huge book worm.  I was the kid in class who used to get yelled at for texting under my desk, and then would bring up a book instead of a phone.  I just couldn’t help myself.  My favorite class in high school was my AP English class senior year, taught by one of the best teachers I have ever had, Mr. Bud.  This class made me love books I never would have fully appreciated had I read them on my own (Slaughterhouse 5 for example).

Mr. Bud and I used to talk about books all the time, but for all my reading, he always used to nag me about reading more “books of literary merit.”  I used to fight him on it, and stuck to my escapist literature for the most part.  It’s not that I didn’t want to read classics, I just never had outside of school.  I had an association of classic literature and homework, and I read for entertainment.  I was intimidated by the thought that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them.

Mr. Bud assigned a project where we had to choose our own “book of literary merit,” and do an old school book report.  I chose Pride and Prejudice, because I felt it was an easy intro for reading classics, it was pretty short and non-intimidating, and most readers are big fans.  I’m not going to lie, I didn’t love it, but what surprised me the most was that I didn’t hate it.  I was able to enjoy myself while reading it, and I felt good when I finished it.  This first step into the world of classic literature, opened my mind to the idea that maybe I could actually read classics for fun.

I’ve found that the biggest difference is that I have to really focus while reading a classic, and sometimes on a crowded, noisy subway, or backstage with music and scenes playing over the speakers, it can be hard to do.  Because of this, I am still a little hesitant when I feel the urge to tackle a classic book, but I am setting a new goal for myself, and finally marking some off my list.  I’m currently giving Jane Austen another try, and I am half way through Sense and Sensibility, which I’m enjoying.

With how much I read, I almost feel like a fraud for how small a dent I have made in my classic literature TBR list.  I strive to be well-read, and I am finally understanding what Mr. Bud was trying to get me to do.  These books are important, because they are good.  I still have mixed feelings about classics in general, but I have found some that I have LOVED, and have become some of my favorite books (Jane Eyre comes to mind).  I’ve also found some that I haven’t liked at all, and realized that just because it is considered a classic, does not mean that I have to like it.  I might always have a stigma associated with classic literature, but the more of them that I read, the less intimidating they become, and that in itself is a victory in my book.

How do you feel about reading classics?  Are they important to you? What are some of your favorites that you would recommend to a classic-newbie?  I would love to hear your thoughts and comments! 🙂

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Discussion Posts

Discussion Post: Abandoning Books

I very rarely abandon a book.  Once I start, I am usually in it for the long haul, even if it’s a slog to get through.  I have a bunch of books that I refuse to admit I have abandoned, always saying, “I’m gonna come back to it eventually…” and three years later I still haven’t picked it up again.  They become like a challenge, and I can’t admit defeat.  Something in me just wants to get through it to say that I have read it, even if I am not enjoying it.

Among all the craziness of work, auditioning, training, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, its crazy to waste my me-time reading something that I don’t love.  Obviously I know you can’t love every book, but there have been plenty of books that are just okay that I finish because they don’t take much out of me.  However; there are those books that I never have the desire or energy to read.  The ones I have to force myself to get through, when all I want is to start something new.  These are the books that I should throw into the Did-Not-Finish pile, and yet find so hard to let go. I give too many books the benefit of the doubt, and hold the hope that they will get better.  Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t.  Mostly they don’t.  A lot of the time they are books that I feel obligated to like because they are classics or a current phenomenon.  I keep reading because I feel like I should love it, even if I have completely lost interest.  I keep reading because I WANT to love it.

Recently, I have been trying to tell myself that it’s okay to let it go.  I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I probably won’t go back to The Beautiful and Damned (oof, it was even hard for me to type that…) and it is OKAY.  There are plenty of other books that I will be obsessed with, and I don’t need to slog through the ones I don’t like just to say that I’ve read them.

Do you abandon books?  What makes you add a book to your DNF pile?  How do you know it’s time to give up on a story?  I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

 

Discussion Posts

How I Saved My Wallet and Got More Books

Thanks to my best friend, and fellow book addict, I recently discovered a website that has changed my life, and my wallet.  As a book addict, I unabashedly buy more books than I can possibly read, and I have never thought twice about it.  Books are my vice, what can I say?  However; bookstores are expensive, and as an artist often between gigs, I have to be more diligent with my budget.  I love the library, I do, but there is something  so special in owning a book and watching your personal library grow.  My best friend, Kaley, told me about Thriftbooks.com and ever since, I find it hard to buy books any other way.  It is amazing and dare I say, dangerous.  It’s like Half-Price books online.  They sell used books of varying quality (all decent, some like new), and deliver them to your doorstep.  The prices are unreal.  I once got seven books for under $20.00, the price of one brand new book at Barnes and Noble.  The selection is huge and they even have new releases (though they are a little more pricey).  They also have free shipping if you spend $10.00, which is usually two-three books.  If you join their free ReadingRewards program, it tracks your purchases, and once you have spent $50.00 you get a $5.00 coupon, which is basically the equivalent of a free book.  I know.  It sounds too good to be true.  It gets better.  Any time you refer a friend, you both get a 15% off coupon for more books!  They also have an app, that has a first purchase discount as well.  There are so many savings, it’s almost impossible not to buy a million books.  I can’t gush about this site enough.  Thriftbooks.com is genius and has changed the way I read and shop for books.  Check it out.  You can thank me later 🙂 .