When I was a kid, I was a prolific reader. It was the thing I won badges for in school and the thing that swept me up and away from real life. It was my one true hobby as a kid: it was the thing that trumped all other things to do.
And then I went to university.
It’s not that going to university is a bad thing. I’m a college professor now, and I live and love being on campus, working with students, helping others find passion in their field. But going to school, for me, wasn’t great for my reading hobby. When I went to university to get my Bachelor’s of Arts in English, I knew I’d have to read what they told me to read (and doing so was an expansive (!) and amazing (!!) experience for me) but little did I know how badly 4 years of prescriptive reading would ruin my enjoyment of pleasure reading.
It was only after those 4 years of learning “good” scholarly canonical literature, that I felt conflicted about what to read next. I began to question my “want” to read something with what I felt I “should” read. I no longer followed my favorite fluffy authors, eagerly awaiting their next piece of fluffy fiction because according to my modernist lit class, all the good author’s were dead.
What happened next was sad, and quite common — I stopped reading. I couldn’t make up my mind on what to read, and so, like a poorly oiled motor, I choked. Sure I picked up the odd Harry Potter or Canada Reads book here and there, I even had a small online book club going for awhile, but ever since I went to school, I haven’t read like I did when I was younger (up all night, can’t put it down, waiting for the next one…that kind of reading).
Fast forward to today — I am standing in the Ottawa Public Library shelves at Rosemount (get your card today!) and picking up my holds. I’ve started reading books in relation to my hobby, with the hopes that it will turn the crank of the reading motor inside me again. I really hope it will, and I’m even considering going TV free for the month of July to help things along.
Does starting with a non-fiction long form style cookbook count?
I’ll keep you posted.