“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
– Oscar Wilde
By starting such a blog in such a manner, it would be easy to mistake me for a bookworm. In actual fact, I am far from it. I read slowly and somewhat infrequently, as recorded in my very limited list of “Books read in 2015”. However, when I find a great book I find it easy to appreciate. In some ways, I think that counts for as much, if not more than aimlessly flicking through hundreds of pages. It often takes me time to settle on my next read and it is not unusual for me to dismiss a book for months before returning to it. But, thus far this method has served me well and I have always been satisfied with my final decision and choice.
Recently, I have read two books for my English coursework preparation. Those two books were ‘Regeneration’ by Pat Barker and ‘Atonement’ by Ian McEwan, both of which I did in fact enjoy. However, no matter how much you may enjoy texts given to you for academic purposes, they will never quite be the same as a novel you have chosen yourself. Or even, one that has been suggested to you based on opinion and enjoyment, as opposed to it’s ability as a text to pass your exam or increase your context marks. In my opinion, it will always be limited to study and will never quite be able to cross the barrier of personal enjoyment, despite your potential engagement with it. For this reason alone, I am so very grateful that I was encouraged this year to read things that were not forced upon me and to really consider what it is that interests me as a reader, not what aids me as an A Level English Literature student.
Enjoying the journey of a novel has resulted in my big plans to read big things! Not only in size (Les Misérables in all it’s 1194 pages) but also in name. Brideshead Revisited, The Great Gatsby and A Clockwork Orange are all big titles lined up on my bookshelf waiting for me to decide their fate. I will of course keep you updated on the reading of said novels when the time comes that I decide which one of them is the next right choice.