What happened to my passion? A pledge of change.
Let’s talk about sex.
Just kidding. This blog is a about books.
When I was younger I hated to read. I read the first couple chapters out of the books that were assigned to me, and then I would lose interest and just BS the tests that I was given (I had learned enough from listening in on class discussions and what my friends had talked about to just pass under the radar), but outside of that, the idea of having a book in my possession was practically treason of the worst kind. There was only one book that I had read at the time that I enjoyed, You Don’t Know Me by David Klass (which is still to this day, concerningly, one of my favorite books), which I read a solid five times before I hit high school, and was one of the first books that I had ever finished (I highly suggest it, and you should see a review of it coming up in the next month or so).
And then there was high school. I remember what started my passion for reading books. I was in humanities my freshman year, we were having a silent work day and I didn’t much feel like doing homework or reading what the teacher had assigned. So instead, I decided to flip through my text book and see what all it could teach me- I was a weird kid, don’t judge. At the very back of my textbook was the beginning of the end of my financial responsibility: Great Expectations.
Now I know you’re thinking “Courtney, that is the weirdest shit.” And trust me, I know. I spent so much time not paying attention to teachers of multiple classes to read a textbook, that I don’t really know how I passed high school, or still got considered to be decently intelligent. But that book opened up some doors that I never thought existed. I had read so many books that were based off of history, or american culture, or anything else cliche that you can think of. Great Expectations brought me back to You Don’t Know Me with toilet-John and his bullfrog-tuba, his abusive step father, and practically getting raped by his high school crush. It was the notion that not all families are perfect. After I finished, I dreamt of being Pip, of stumbling upon a convict in the graveyard one day, and then falling in love with a rich adopted girl. With some other curveballs thrown around like wildfire, of course.
From then on I read books endlessly. Going to a book store was like picking out a puppy and left me with just as much joy. I had a whole list of books that I would ask for Christmas every year (to which my grandmother asked if I was worshiping the devil, but that is more means to drink than to discuss), and when I got a job a good portion of my extra cash went towards stacking my bookshelf. I spent my life sitting in the front room on the middle cushion with my dog laying on the floor with me, and a pillow to prop my book up so my neck wouldn’t hurt. As soon as I came home from school I would sit down and read until my eyes hurt and the rest of the house had gone to sleep.
But that is not the point of this article.
I remember so fondly the beginning of my passion for books and literature, but I cannot recall for the life of me what got in the way. And that is deeply troublesome.
My friends and I used to talk endlessly about books and sharing ideas and gossiping- Some of which turned into a slightly unhealthy obsession to which I won’t talk about sober. I looked forward to the books that my friends would lend me and then talking about them as we went. I loved the power of being the first one to read a book, and the others asking me what was in store. The cracking of a fresh seal was my favorite sound in the world and that papery-inky smell that wafted from the book when you opened it up for the first time (I call it book virginity in my head. Gross, I know). But then something happened, and I wish deeply that I knew what it was.
In the entire year of 2017 I cannot recall a single book that I finished, and very few within a couple years preceding that. I had several that I started, but all of them still have paper in them from when I put it down and did not pick it back up. I chalked it down to having an un-interesting story, but I soon realized that the problem was within myself.
So this year, 2018, I pledge to read more. To spend as many hours a week as I can with my nose in a book, rekindling the fire of lost passion. I have started off well, with the makeshift bookmark towards the back of the novel this time, and my interest still piqued.
“Metempsychosis-the supposed transmigration at death of the soul of a human being or animal into a new body of the same or a different species.” Aka, I wish to come back to my body after something had killed me.
I raise my glass and ask you all to follow with me in the same journey of rekindling old flames. Whatever yours may be.
-The Rogue Courtney
Tell me your favorite books so I can read them!
Follow Live Writely for weekly content, as well as exclusive deals and classes. Also don’t forget to follow New Traditions Publishing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates.