Reading

Pat Conroy

I am returning to the subject of books, specifically good vs. bad and of which what we should read–or at least what I should read. I was beginning to think that maybe–just maybe–there might be a place for trash reading. Things like Twilight might just be useful.

But then I was listening to Pat Conroy’s My Reading life (on tape) and when I heard him say, “The books I was born to read.” I snapped back to reality.

It’s not that Twilight doesn’t have a place–in someone else’s life. Someone who approaches reading without distinguishing between the classics and the drivel. It is fair game for preteens or business professionals who need all of their mental faculties to be engaged elsewhere and can afford to stare at nothing for two hours–because that is all it really takes to read something like Twilight.

But if Twilight is something that I was born to read, well maybe I shouldn’t have been born at all. If Twilight was my literary legacy, the reason for which I was created, well all I can ask is: what’s the point in living? I have talked about a book diet before, and besides having a little bit of writer’s block and a very strong and embarrassing urge to read The Host–another abominable book by Stephenie Meyer, I have stuck to the diet. And thanks to Pat Conroy’s words, I feel better about being seemingly elitist.

But this is not about being elitist, or snobby–though I have been known to be both. It is about trying to educate myself in a responsible way, and Twilight offers no educational value for me. While I believe we should all try to better ourselves in a holistic way, there is really a limit to how many areas you can focus on: mental health, education, physical health, physical conditioning, music, reading, writing, work, relationships, languages, etc. You can add a thousand more areas of personal growth, depending on a persons interests and skills.

There is not enough time in the day, so I need to be choosy. As I am working on becoming a professional writer, I need to be conscious of what I am reading and what I am writing on a daily basis. That being said, I have decided to give myself a break when it comes to TV. I know I had said I was going on a TV Diet, but I have suspended it. It didn’t last long anyway.

Before I knew it I was back to watching shows like 16 and Pregnant and Catfish, neither of which are wholesome. But I have decided that it is alright. We all need a little trash in our lives. Something that our minds can skate over, becoming blank zombies, allowing the recesses of our minds to do their thing–sort through everything and categorize. Instead of limiting what kind of TV I watch, I am going to try to limit the amount. Screw quality, and limit quantity.

Isn’t that what we are supposed to do with junk food?

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