The ins and outs of a young library media specialist's life. Rock, rock on.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Yes, I Am Literate. Really.

"Classic: A book which people praise but do not read." -Mark Twain

I know I don't write much here about books or the things that I'm reading. This is mostly because who really cares what I'm reading? Just because I'm a librarian, it doesn't mean that I only read quality literature. But I think once in a while I can throw some stuff in, since I have a captive reading audience and all.

Every summer I force myself to read a classic novel. By "classic" I mean something either from the Western canon, the Harvard Classics list, or one of the Great Books. I'd say I've read a fair number of them, at least more than most people can claim, but in the end I don't know that they've enriched me any more than, say, Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, or Augusten Burrough's Running with Scissors, or Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

Over the summers I've slogged my way through Anna Karenina, Four Plays by Aristophanes, Nicholas Nickleby, Le Rouge et le noir (which I was supposed to read in a college course and never did), the Aeneid, and a few others.

Don't get me wrong- it's not that I didn't enjoy some of these books. And I'm also not claiming that J.K. Rowling should replace Dickens in the annals if British literary history. I'm just saying that there's room for lots of different kinds of literature in one's head. Right now, for instance, I'm on a mini-John Bellairs kick. These formulaic Gothic novels intrigue me. They're spooky without being overly violent and they're well-written. Bonus: Edward Gorey did the illustrations for his books.

Because I was a Literature major as an undergrad I feel as though this summer ritual keeps me tied into academia in a way- a way that working with 8th graders can't provide. But maybe this summer I'll give myself a break and stick to the YA stuff. I do work in a middle school, after all. I can finally finish up the second and third summers of the traveling pants and get a foot in the door with the Princess Diaries. Sweet!


Post a Comment

<< Home

hit counter