An Uncapped Pen

September 9, 2008

It’s a Sin . . .

Filed under: About Me,Reading — cindylv @ 8:04 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve always been a smart girl.  I graduated near the top of my class in High School (in rural Wisconsin).  I graduated from college with a respectable 3.87 (or so) GPA.  I’m smart, but quite lazy.  My mother used to say I emerged from her womb with a book in hand and asked Doctor Bolinek to kindly get out of my light.  I read for pleasure.  I consume books. I read in bed, at the table, on the patio, in the tub and while sitting on the . . . well, you know.  

I read in restaurants, in waiting rooms, standing in lines.  On lunch breaks in the park, in the parking lot before church, and at the movie theater before lights out.  I firmly believe that I am capable of reading while driving, but I hear that’s an expensive ticket.

But as I said, I’m lazy.  I like exactly what I like and know exactly what I don’t.  I find myself cringing when a loved one says, “I’ve got a great book for you.  I know you’re just gonna just LOVE it!”  I feel like I’ve been guilted into reading their treasure.  Usually it’s something I’d never even consider if left to my own devices.  Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised that I’m able to overcome the burden of the guilt and enjoy the book (Thank you, Laurie).  Sometimes I find myself skimming, unable to admit that a particular gem just doesn’t work for me.

I hate to read books that “everyone” is reading.  I rarely pick up a book from the displays at the front tables at bookstores, arrayed like diamonds in the jewelry store.  I prefer to dig through the stacks for the unusual–mining for molybdenum or barite instead of diamonds.  

But I’m lazy.  Maybe I don’t like to “work” at reading. I want the story to flow through me.  I don’t want to have to paddle and steer and bail and clean the deck, too.  I’m lazy.  And maybe I’m a little embarrassed.  I’m working on building up some courage here.  I am resisting the urge to continue hiding behind this mask of “smart” and reveal another huge character flaw, in addition to the previously confessed sins of wrath, envy, and of course, sloth. I’m talking about, I mean, confessing to, the sin of pride — undeserved pride.  

NOTE:  In case you’re counting sins, I’m not particularly greedy or gluttonous.  And my lust level will remain undisclosed, for now. 

As a prideful reader, I hereby confess to not having . . . um . . . read The Classics.  Significant Literature. Those gilt-edged, leather-bound dusty volumes that “everyone” has read.  Should read.

Well, in my defense, I haven’t avoided ALL of them. I’ve read The Adventures of Beowulf (see I even knew it was spelled “wulf”), The Canterbury Tales, and King Lear.  A few other that come to mind include The Last of the Mohicans, Kipling’s story about Nag the Snake and the Mongoose, Grapes of Wrath, Crime and Punishment, The Moveable Feast, A Christmas Carol, Love in the Time of Cholera, and a slew of Flannery O’Connor short stories.  And maybe some Faulkner, but I can’t remember any titles right now.  

I endured several chapters of Pride and Prejudice before dropping it on my nose during a nap attack. This summer (actually it may have been last summer) I made it through a few hundred pages of Madame Bovary.  I’m not willing to admit defeat on that one yet, as the end is near.  I know it’s considered to be a masterpiece, but . . . Hey, it’s still on the nightstand.  Same with A Tale of Two Cities, except I’m only as far as the wine spilling in the street. 100 Years of Solitude —  Um, actually, I don’t think I started that one yet. Anna Karenina either. Or  War and Peace.

In 1989, I slogged through 1150 pages of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich because my father gave it to me and would call to discuss major points.  My copy had approximately 200 pages duplicated in the middle and it took me a few weeks to realize I was re-reading some stuff.  I still have that book, next to Mein Kampf (not read).

AND I just finished To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, voted by Librarians as the best book of the Twentieth Century (Ooh, didn’t that sound prideful!)

Alrighty, then. I’ve said it.  Confession is good for the soul. And now, I’m off to lunch and the bookstore.


WAIT!   I just remembered.  The Kipling story was called Rikki-Tikki Tavi.



  1. I have to read more of the classics myself, so I feel your guilt.

    Comment by youcouldbelievethis — September 9, 2008 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks. It helps to know that I’m not alone!

    Comment by cindylv — September 9, 2008 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  3. You don’t read classics!!!
    There goes another of my potential readers:(

    Comment by usman — September 10, 2008 @ 6:12 am | Reply

  4. Oh Usman! Please be patient with me. I’m just working through them at a much slower pace than some others do! Regards to Dilbar!

    Comment by cindylv — September 10, 2008 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

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