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Confessions of a library junkie: I just can’t get enough
On a whim this summer, I bought the newest Game of Thrones book. 35 dollars later, I was sitting in my apartment staring at the cover and debating how to justify to my parents spending that much money on a book. For most people, the argument would have centered on how that money could have gone to necessities such as groceries, textbooks, or beer. I, however, was at an impasse at how to explain spending more than my monthly book allowance.
I suppose that this needs a bit of an explanation. I love reading. I’ve spent more money than I care to think about on books, to the point that my parents restricted me to buying only two books a month. That was when I was eight, and I’ve been in a drawn-out struggle with them since then. Being a reader is an expensive habit and, unfortunately for my parents’ wallets, it’s more addictive than caffeine.
Voracious is probably the best word to describe my reading habit. Tearing through the library, I’d read just about anything that I could get my hands on. I learned most of what I know about history sitting in the stacks of the public library, nose deep in a purely fictitious account of the Crusades or ancient Rome. I figured out what romance was sometime around making my way through some trashy fantasy novels (Deryni, anyone?), and found out that you can laugh at books with something witty Terry Pratchett wrote. There’s still a waitlist at Lau for The Sorcerer’s Stone, so I know I’m not alone in my love of Harry Potter.
Reading let me indulge my imagination and escape the confines of Indianapolis into fantastical worlds. When I was younger, I kicked ass at the Triwizard Tournament as the long lost sister Harriet Potter and sailed the seas alongside Long John Silver in search of treasure. I certainly didn’t grow out of my overactive imagination as the years passed. I still think that I could have saved Ned Stark’s life if given the chance, or at the very least punched Joffrey in the face, and I just finished Game of Thrones last year.
Don’t get me wrong, reading wasn’t my only possible pastime. It’s not like I was deprived of television as a child; I distinctly remember that I found time to squeeze in an episode of Wild Thornberrys. I just preferred to read. There’s something about reading that is so comforting to me. Whether curled up in bed, in front of a roaring fire, or outside under a warm summer sun, turning the page of a book was my way of relaxing. These days, though, it’s a little different.
It isn’t always evident, but it’s fairly tiring being a student these days. It’s not just sitting in class, but running from building to building, active in every club under the sun, prepping for that interview, aiming high for that internship, and calling home to complain about all of it. Occasionally, you even do some schoolwork. Getting home at the end of the day, I usually range from sleepy to bone-wearyingly tired. I just don’t have the energy to devote to doing any reading that isn’t assigned, but there are inevitably still hours to kill before I need to go to bed. Instead of curling up with a book, I watch hours of TV shows online to pass the time. I’m not engaged in what I watch, and sometimes I get the feeling that one more episode of Masterchef is absolutely going to kill brain cells and quite frankly, I miss reading.
The blame for my lapsed reading habit lies in part with indulging my lazy side far too much, but I think student life bares some of the blame. To get that internship, job, or place in graduate school, we have to go all in all the time, or at least we think we do. This year, though, I’ve decided to put my foot down. I think that we need to choose the attitude we have with this drive for success, and take a quick breather every now and then. I’m over this inanity. It’s time to go read.