I had a thought the other day, and I’m sure many have thought of this before.  Why is it that sometimes certain books call out to you more than others?  How do we choose the books that we read?  Lately I’ve been seriously consuming fantasy novels.  This is because I’ve been trying to move away from simply watching TV shows all the time.  I still crochet half the time while watching TV, but I watch nonetheless.  I was starting to feel...well.....boring.

So to quiet this feeling I decided to move on to books, and boy have I.  I’ve read almost 10 books in the past three to four weeks.  Granted, that means I’ve been doing little else.  The house is clean, I’ve been crocheting every once in a while, running, playing soccer and work, but once that is all done I start reading.  

Anyways, back to the thought I had.  I realized that try as I might to read books that quote “Make me classier”, or “Read books that teach me vocabulary that will help with the GRE” I just couldn't.  They were too stressful.  Robey and I love what were doing, but we definitely aren’t making a whole lot of money, thus we have high money stresses.  What else?  Other normal life stresses can always play a role like not having health insurance.  Also having student loan “sharks” starting their phone overtures begging to empty our bank accounts.  All of this adds up.  Once complete we’re both a jumble of nerves.  

So my thought; how stressful you’re life is can heavily effect your reading choices.  Why do I choose fantasy?  It’s true that some fantasy can be heavy reading.  Some is quite involved and littered with intense vocabulary.  However it’s the focus and the overlying themes that really gets me sucked in.  So many fantasy novels start with the person who has no idea how special they are.  The person that finds out there is something amazing about them.  Then they train and they work, and in about 5-6 hours they often topple kingdoms.  They change their entire lives.  Often they start at the bottom of the chain and move to becoming someone that matters.  A person who might have had issues in the beginning, but one who slowly and rather easily overcomes them.

So many of the more intense books (especially ones including the main character going through serious self reflection), are ones I have difficulty getting into.  I am going through enough self reflection on my own.  I need the books I read to show me hope.  I need them to show me that hard work pays off.  One that shows a seemingly simple person beating the odds and becoming something powerful.  One that, even with some people dying and lots of fighting, can show that change is possible.  

I guess what bugs me about this realization is that many people judge you on the type of books you read.  If you read the more intense and self-reflective books, you’re probably more often judged to be a ‘classy reader’.   Being a ‘classy reader’ in many ways can also be a judgement of a person’s ‘station’ or ‘class.’  

This reminds me of something my Uncle Gene once said, “Keeping your mind active is more important than the type of books you read.”  That’s an approximate quote because we were all busily munching away on oysters or something at the time and I don’t remember much else.  But the point is this; The kind of books you chose doesn’t matter.  It’s simply important that you keep reading.  

Understanding what you choose is important because it can help you to realize why you’re choosing the books you do.  If the books you chose are making you happy and content, then they are serving their purpose.  Don’t change because you think you’re not reading something ‘mentally stimulating’ enough.  Don’t change because you want people to think higher of you.  You pick the books you do for a reason.  Let them make you happy.

Up Next Time: Creating an ics file for calendar import