The Book You Don’t Read Won’t Help

I have never been an avid reader.  When I was in school, I enjoyed reading short stories because they were short.  I enjoyed reading plays because they were mainly dialogue without vivid descriptions of scenery, characters’ appearance, or other things which, to me, just added pages.  It seemed to me that the main reason for reading books was to highlight the descriptions of things so I could identify them on the tests.  Match Atticus Finch with his physical description.  Which character said which quotation?  Which character could be described as a pretty Jewish girl, dark brown hair cropped at the shoulders, slate-gray eyes with greenish flecks, sharp features and thin figure, about 5’4″ feet tall, light skinned, beautiful smile with slightly crooked teeth (according to her friends)?  I didn’t learn to appreciate literature.  When I entered college, I was fortunate enough to earn AP credit to place out of freshman English.  The reading lists were ridiculous.  I did take Sociology and couldn’t even finish reading The Godfather.  Way too many pages.

I am still not an avid reader.  I hear about books I want to read and I often buy them.  I sometimes start them but I don’t usually finish them.  I know this is terrible but I would rather watch re-runs of movies which I know by heart than curl up with a good book.  And when I do read, I hate stopping if I am not at the end of a chapter.  Just like in school, I look to see how long the chapter is and decided if I am going to read it.

So now I am faced with a dilemma. has published their of the top 13 books from 2016.  Many of them sound interesting and were recommended by some of my favorite people such as Susan Cain and Angela Duckworth.  Thirteen more books to buy and put in the pile by my bed.  Thirteen more books to start reading and then stop.  Maybe this time I will actually read them.  I know, I should set a goal to read a book a month or something like that.  I’m not that disciplined.  Maybe for every 50 pages I get to eat something I like.  No, I don’t need the weight gain.

I can learn so much by reading.  There are benefits galore.  Maybe instead of hearing something and saying to my wife “What movie was that?” I can say “I read that in a book”. As a Language Arts teacher, she would be impressed.


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