I still haven’t managed to make much headway on reading for the year–which I am most solidly blaming on the Architectural Registration Exam, which has consumed my mind to the extent that last week I could not remember the words for either “ladle” or “spatula,” a fact that amuses my brother to no end. Nevertheless, I have somehow discovered myself currently reading (or not, as the case may be) not one but four books. Or at the very least, strongly tempted by them every time I glance up from my study. I’m taking the first test tomorrow–and from what I’ve read about it, I will either discover that I’ve completely studied the wrong things, or I will wonder why I studied so much, no middle ground. After that I will give myself free reign to enjoy my reading again. At least for a few days!
I’m still enjoying Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, which is amusing me greatly. I think this is one of those rare children’s books that I’m actually appreciating more as an adult than I would have when I was younger–I’m finding a lot of humor in it that I don’t think I would have noticed when I was 10. Either that or I’m just in a mood to be easily amused. I took the day off from study today (if I don’t know it already, I won’t tomorrow) and went to see Rango which I found to be laugh-out-loud funny. Maybe even hysterical. Of course, this may just be another example like Rebecca, as I somehow doubt that the average movie-going 10-year old would have recognized “Ride of the Valkyries” by name.
Reading Lolita in Tehran has been pushed a bit to the wayside, and will likely turn out the loser in my current bookish madness. I find it a book to work through slowly, and it requires more mental power than I currently have available. I still intend to finish this, it might just take a while.
And now I much confess. My lack of reading left me open to temptation. I was unable to hold strong for the TBR Dare, and the other two books I’m currently starting are both from the library. Technically I haven’t done anything more with Conversation in the Cathedral (Mario Vargas Llosa) than lug it around. I’m currently pretending it isn’t really 600 pages, that the paper is just really thick. (Actually the paper is on the thick side–thus the lugging.) I’m hoping to start it Sunday. I did start How to Read a Book (Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren) already, although I’m still in the preface. I’ve debated reading this in the past. I often feel that my reading is superficial, and I’ve definitely read my share of superficial books. Not that there is anything wrong with reading simply to be entertained or to “escape.” However, after reading The Divine Comedy last summer, I was reminded about how powerful literature can really be. I want to continue to have that experience of touching something great, but if I only take in the surface of what I’m reading, I will miss out on the best part of the great books. Part of me says that the way to get better at reading is simply to read more. The other part suggests that maybe I need to learn how to better and where to better focus my attention while reading. I’m not sure what How to Read a Book is going to tell me just yet. Maybe I’ll return to my initial instinct that the real solution is to read, read, read; maybe I will learn something new and applicable.
In the meantime, I will continue to attempt to ignore the latest snowfall outside and concentrate on these hardy little blooms instead. It only took a few days of warm sun this week for the crocus to pop open, and as soon as the snow melts they’ll be back. Spring can’t come soon enough!