Editorial Notebook

Rekindling my joy for reading

This past weekend I went to go visit my girlfriend in Washington D.C. I chose to drive down due to the outrageous costs of train tickets and the inconvenience of plane departure times. The six hour drive itself was manageable; it provided me and my friend, Copy Editor Rex Hu ’19, ample time to talk about absolutely everything and nothing that came into our heads. One of the first conversations we had was about childhood reading.

As a kid, I loved to read. I loved the feeling of a book in my hands. I loved the excitement of flipping the pages as I’d slowly become engrossed in a narrative, and I remember getting lost for hours on end in fantasy realmsimagining what it would be like to be part of the story. I would often read instead of doing homework, something that is unthinkable to me today. I read mostly fiction, ranging from Erin Hunter’s Warriors and Brian Jacques’ Redwall to the more science based books of D. J. MacHale’s Pendragon and Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl. Looking back at those books, they all had flaws that would probably turn me away from them now, but during my youth I was willing to overlook these faults in exchange for a good waste of time.

Reading  has all but disappeared from my life. My bookshelf is a sad sight: a couple of nonfiction biographies of current politicians I never finished—classics that I picked up to read one day, books that I started so long ago the bookmark is meaningless to me and my memory of the story is almost gone. These days, my media consumption is primarily through Reddit or Facebook, and that makes me sad.

By writing this notebook, I’m making a promise to myself: I’m going to read more. My goal is to finish at least one book a month. Whenever I have free time in my room, I’m going to turn off the TV, get off Youtube for a bit, and read. I don’t know what I’ll start with: Maybe Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro; maybe  Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, or maybe even with Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury. That’s a problem for later though. What matters is that I start. And if you’re reading this, why not do the same? Go up to your bookshelf,  to the library, or to a bookstore; pick out a book that looks interesting; and read the first page. See if that turns into reading the second page, and then the third page, and then watch time wind forward until it’s past midnight and you remember you have piles of work to do. I’m ready to get lost in the world of reading again, and hopefully I’ll be able to find my way back out!