With my 29th birthday a week behind me, I’ve had a moment to soak in all of the things I’ve been grateful for- loyal friends, successful projects, a roof over my head, parents who still nag me about future plans (yes, I’m even grateful for that), and certainly not lacking in importance, a growing friendship with a person whose companionship has meant a great deal to me. All things I’m grateful for…
But something was missing. Something so basic and intrinsic to my growth as an artist, how could I have neglected to nurture it. What was it?
Yes, that’s right…reading.
And when I say reading, I mean literature; stories of adventures on all scales, with a lesson to learn if you choose to dissect the narrative.
I’ve been so entrenched in autodidactic tendencies that I’ve neglected to massage my imagination. Don’t get me wrong, my childhood was great. It consisted of playing outdoors, engaging with nature, and setting banana trees on fire. But I feel the leisurely reading ended just as I started college. In fact, if you were to ask me what my favorite books were, I’d answer, “Charlotte’s Web, Where the red fern grows, and R.L. Stine’s Goosebump series“. All of which were books I read during elementary school.
I had to try really hard to remember the books that stood out for me after that period: She’s come undone (I don’t know how I even snagged a copy of this -1992!), Memoirs of a Geisha, and Cloud of Sparrows, those were the books that stood out to me after elementary. These days my shelves are lined with books about how-to <insert various filmmaking skills here>. Ugh. It’s tiresome.
Bell’s Book Store in downtown Palo Alto
But why now? Why did I decide to expose this bit of myself now?
Maybe. Just maybe, I’ve been coming across a lot of people who seem to be doing well for themselves and as I get to know them realize they’re experienced travelers of books. Their mileage of page well exceeds mine.
Maybe I’m threatened by that. Or maybe I feel like I have nothing to offer them in conversation.
NAH! That’s not it. That can’t be it. Well, whatever the case may be I’ve ventured into remedying that and am pulling that youthful reader in me to join me on a page to page adventure. I’m starting a new book wish list on Amazon and hoping to catch up on all the reading I’ve been missing all these years. Some books on my list – Ishmael, The Great Gatsby, A Farewell to Arms, and Atlas Shrugged.
I’ve vowed to visit the library more when I start my new job (which happens to be two blocks from the public library, woot!). Oh, and currently on my plate: Cloud Atlas
What are some of your favorite books? Which ones would you recommend I add to my “must read” list, and why.
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