T: the low-down on excuses NOT to read…

So bloggees…(I am not quite sure if this is an appropriate term, but let’s go with it!) This past week has been insane for me – I have completed an insanely long and, I would say, well researched knowledge exam for a job competition, finished orientation for the volunteer position I am starting with Amnesty International, studies a little for the LSAT, watched some amazing men’s olympic hockey…oh, and I worked.

But guess what else I did? I managed to read about 150 pages of the book I’m reading. While this is a little on the slow side for a speed reader like myself, it proves a point – THERE IS ALWAYS TIME TO READ IF YOU WANT TO. Now, I want to make myself perfectly clear. I am not getting on the case of those who just simply don’t like to read. If you don’t like it…don’t do it (but you’re fooling yourselves if you think you can’t find a single thing you would like to read). However, I am going to be a little big of a hard- a$$ on those who claim they LOOOOVE to read, they just don’t have the time. SHUT OFF THE TV, YOUTUBE, BLOG YOU’RE READING, FACEBOOK, or whatever other meaningless crap you have in front of you and open a book. Your mind will thank you. Even if you only read a few pages a night before you fall asleep…before you know it the book will be finished, and that’s the first step on the long road to a literary addiction.

For those of you who feel like you would love to read a few pages but hate the idea of how long it will take you to finish a book, here are a few suggestions for fantastic and short reads. It doesn’t have to be “War and Peace” or the dictionary to be great…it’s quality, not quantity people.

1 – Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck): You will cry, if not…you have a heart of stone. “I’m not even mad, I’m just impressed.” – Ron Burgundy

2- The Red Pony (Another Great Steinbeck): …I reiterate the above statement. If you love these two books and have some more time, check out The Pearl and Cannery Row for short reads and East of Eden or Grapes of Wrath if you want to step it up a bit.

3- The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka): For all of you fantasy readers out here who can’t invest the time necessary for a Lord of the Rings trilogy, check out this look at a man’s life when he awakes one morning to find he is no longer the man he was…literally he is no longer a man. Check it out to learn more. (Just trying to whet your literary apetite…and check out D’s recipe to whet your actual appetite) This book is also great if you’re into symbolism as Kafka explores how our personal worth is often based so heavily upon economic contribution.

4- The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald): This is a classic but it never gets old. It definitely makes you reexamine the relative importance of material wealth. If you like this one the little celebrated but, if you ask me, better novel by Fitzgerald is Tender is the Night (A little more risqué, but fantastic!)

5- Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger): This book is one of my all time faves and do the dearly departed J.D. a favour and give it a shot. It will bring you back to the days when all you cared about were friends and the ideas of your future ambitions seemed to be so far away they weren’t worth contemplating…oh how wrong I was. 🙂

6 – The Alchemist (Paolo Coehlo) – I have posted on this novel in the past, but I can’t stress enough how great this book is and it is super short so what’s your excuse not to give it a shot?

7- Anything by C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia series is fantastic and super readable…and now that Harry Potter books made children’s lit fair game take advantage of it and read these novels proudly in public!)

8- Go Ask Alice: An autobiographical look at teen-age drug experimentation written anonymously. It’s a classic, and written as a diary so the “chapters” feel short and you feel like you’re getting somewhere.

9- Any compilation of short stories (I recommend anything by Alistair Macleod)

10- The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold): Now that this is trendy take advantage! Get the paperback super cheap while the movie is out and the marketing team is cranking those things out like the chocolate companies crank out easter bunnies come april.

Good luck! And PLEASE let me know how you do or if you’ve read these books give me a heads up on what you think of them…I mean I’m sure readers would find your opinion(s) much more interesting than mine…I know I would!


2 responses to “T: the low-down on excuses NOT to read…

  • pastorjeffcma

    First a disclaimer. I love to read, I find the time to read (make it a priority actually), and have read most of the books you listed. However, since I am a believer that you have the time to do whatever you truly want to do, I have to assume that if you are not reading you really don’t want to. If that is the case, aren’t a significant number of the books you listed somewhat ambitious for the non-reading reader–not in size but in serious character and plot development? I am not sure that the non-reading reader will commit to more serious literature. Especially if they are accustomed to 5 minutes of commercials for every 7 minutes of plot.

    • twesties

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I am in complete agreement in regards to the idea that you have the time to do what you truly want to do – however, I did mention that in my post…my comments were aimed at those who claim openly to “love reading” but who “just don’t have the time”. I can also appreciate that many of my books are heavy in character and plot development, however I do not feel that they are overly ambitious as many of them (Catcher in the Rye, Great Gatsby) are taught in high school English classes and even some (The Red Pony) are taught in middle school classes. I find that the books I recommended for the non reader give enough action to hold the attention of those accustomed to the pace of television while not being too swift to ignore the time necessary for true literary development. I do not believe that one must begin reading with books of little to no literary quality – I stand by my position that these books are manageable for those with little time without sacrificing the greatness that will make a book addict out of a non-reader. I look forward to hearing from you again and thank you for reading!

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