Sunday, 16 March 2014

My Heart Laid Bare: I read as I read and so will I read

Have you ever met anyone who asks you these kind of question:
"If you really like reading, why don't you read [insert a book title], or why haven't you finished reading [insert a book title]?" Honestly, I don't like those questions, especially when asked with a judging tone.

Ask a singer: "If you really like singing, why don't you sing opera? Why haven't you tried heavy metal?"

I find the question so disturbing because of these following reasons.

1. I don't read everything

Each reader has different tastes. Reading is pretty much like eating. If you don't like something it doesn't mean that it's bad, it just means that you don't like it, no matter how many people in the world say that it's delicious. Of course you would miss a lot if you don't try, but, hey, even trying or not trying is your choice; it's entirely up to you.

2. I don't read everything that I read in the same pace

And when I don't read something as quickly I read other books, please don't judge me. It doesn't mean that I don't like the book, or I don't have a good reading habit. It's just hard for me. There are books that are just hard for me no matter how much I love it. Les Miserables is one my favourite books, but I dragged myself through it for more than 2 months. I love it, but the passages are by no means light reading. I won't be spending even 2 nights reading a young adult novel because it's all different genre. Other books I haven't finished are Walden, Faerie Qveene, Aeneid, and Shakespeare's and Neruda's sonnets. And you know full well that I love those, and other books God knows I haven't finished. Just give me time to digest them instead of skim through them.

3. I don't always read the things that I want to read

"So many books, so little time," is it? Not just that - I can't always read the books that I want to read. I waited for some time before reading Othello because it's so sad. I want to be well-prepared. I still haven't read Macbeth and The Man in the Iron Mask because I'm not ready. Just don't push me.

4. I don't always finish the book I read

Again. If you eat something and you think it tastes to weird that you just can't continue, wouldn't you stop? I do the same when reading. Again, it doesn't necessarily mean that the book is bad, it's just that I don't like it. Finish it, if you like, but I won't.

5. I don't always remember the detail after reading

Not even the writer would remember everything. That's why even great writer like Dumas made little mistake in detailing an event or timeline. I usually remember things in a context. So pluck it off the context and I would instantly forget everything. This morning I googled 'infinite jest' because I knew the phrase is Shakespeare's and is from Hamlet, but I couldn't remember the context. Never say to me, "Tell me the act, scene, and line number of 'To be or not to be' speech," because, guess what, I have no idea.

6. I might be a fan, but I'm not a stalker

My life doesn't revolve around an author, or a fictional character. I don't always invest my time on an author's biography, moreover a fictional character's. So forgive me if I don't remember ACD's birthday, or Dumas' family history. The most important thing for me is their works, and their lives only in connection to their works. If I like stalking people so much, I'd be watching celeb gossips.

7. My favourite authors' opinions do not reflect my own

I love Marlowe but I don't believe in predestination; I love Shakespeare but I don't like obscene jokes. I don't mind Oscar Wilde but mind his life style. I love Monte Cristo but I don't approve revenge. Please understand that before judging me of anything.

There are maybe many other things that I'd like to write here, but the length of the post is already too long for a personal complain. Before I finish I want to misquote Sir Thomas Wyatt.

And from this mind I will not flee,
But to you all that misjudge me,
I do protest as ye may see,
That I am as I am and so will I be.

Or, judge as you please. I read as I read and so will I read.

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