I want to be a reader.
After several failed attempts (including a rather public fail you can find here) I began searching for strategies to trick my brain into making reading fun, rather than seeming like homework. I stumbled upon a blog post that broke reading down to a simple 10% rule: read 10% of a book per day effectively breaking up an otherwise daunting task into tangible bite size pieces.
Pretty easy right? Not only that, but jotting down some quick thoughts about what you read after you’re done has a way of boosting recollection of books long after you’re done reading them. No more, “Yeah I read The Catcher In The Rye…what’s it about again?”
So I started in on this method and I couldn’t stop. I’ve actually found myself reading quite a bit more than 10% each day. What I’ve found even more amusing is the things I come up with on paper after I’m done. I’ve decided to post a few excerpts from my ‘writing journal’ for your entertainment. Please excuse the more profane bits (thanks Chuck Palahniuk).
Dandelion Wine – by Ray Bradbury
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that this is a book about life and death – the juxtaposition of old and young, wise and naive, storied and…un-storied. The narrative turns sharply from the perspective of a dying woman to the supple joy of children in summertime. Oftentimes the children (Douglas, Tom and Charlie) attempt to contemplate life and why things break and why people die. The old always seem to have achieved peace in death. There was a life lived and a grand life lived at that.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – by Robert M. Pirsig
“Quality. This is the concept on the mind of young Phaedrus as our protagonist and his young son, Chris, traverse up and around a Montana mountainside in the dead of their Chautauqua. Quality, he states, is something that cannot be properly defined, but must be real because we all know it to be so. I’ll skip the philosophical mind trip he takes us through (one that includes bulls horns and the great mind-matter debate) and get to the jist of the argument, which is that quality is the event that happens between the subject and the object. Quality does not exist in one or the other, but straddles the two as the great third wheel in the classic vs romantic question.
Ulysses – by James Joice
Choke – by Chuck Palahniuk
“Our friend Mr. Mancini appears to be afraid of only one thing: being a good-hearted, upstanding member of society. “What would Jesus not do.” He repeats this to himself over and over again as he fake-rapes, steals slug-trap beer and poison children’s ears with stories about soot-warts and how children in the 1700’s died of cancer. He is so afraid of being a good person that he forces himself to be a shit-head out of pure spite for the good-natured little boy inside of him. The little boy who was cheated out of his childhood by a deranged parental figure who actually thought he was the second coming of Christ.