Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Annie vs. Books!

i don't understand why i have so many books, because i hate reading. i used to like reading when i was really little, and always wanted to read past my bedtime, which basically meant that i read under the bedsheets with a flashlight. this is why i had glasses before i got to kindergarten. they were huge pink and plastic ones, but i digress. what i was reading at that age i have no idea. probably tolstoy.

my next memory of reading was in second grade. we had this children's encyclopedia set in our living room, and it was like a regular encyclopedia in that it many volumes, each volume covering topics A-C, D-F, etc., except that it also had all of these great illustrations. my dad dared me to read the entire set in one month, and every third volume, i would get pizza. so i read the entire set, and it was delicious.

in the fourth grade i saw jurassic park, and decided that i would be really ambitious and read the book. it was a pretty bad idea - there were so many words i didn't know and i was reading it primarily to prove that i could. in general, in life, i tend to do this a lot - doing things just to prove that i can. i do it with self-improvement projects, with people, and with work. turns out that this is a really stupid thing to do and a colossal waste of time. i am also marking this as digression #2.

in middle school, i got really into christopher pike books. they're 300-pageish books of concentrated high school murder and thriller excitement! plot lines include but are not limited to hot football players who are actually dead zombies, hot cheerleaders who discover that they are reincarnated greek goddesses, and hot people who later realize that they are versions of the same person (one was a high school girl, the other was her 40-year-old self). best books ever.

in high school, i decided to read the fountainhead because it was really long and had a cool name. interestingly enough, i actually liked it, so then i read atlas shrugged, which took a lot longer. both books took me so long that they were the only two books i read in high school that weren't required reading. two books in four years. i guess that reading those books was enriching to some extent. they enriched me with this aggressively idealistic perspective of the world, and the expectation that i may someday be whisked away to a secret valley, accessible only by secret airplane, where a secret group of people would sit around and things like discover new sciences, write symphonies, and solve large-scale economic problems every day. so far i haven't been invited, so i've been spending most of my time with my computer, domokun, and ipod.

we are a stellar combo, so things are going pretty well.

fast forward to now. i have a beautiful bookshelf from dwr filled with books i mostly haven't read. here is a sampling from my bookshelf:

books i have never even started

Charles Schwab's New! Guide to Financial Independence
The Hidden Persuaders - Vance Packard
Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder
The Pro-Growth Progressive - Gene Sperling
PR! - Stuart Ewen

books i tried to read and never finished

The Moral Animal - Robert Wright
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
Blink - Malcolm Gladwell
Smilla's Sense of Snow - Peter Hoeg
Bobos in Paradise - David Brooks
Why we Buy - Paco Underhill
The Call of the Mall - Paco Underhill
From Here to Economy - Todd Buchholz
The Language Instinct - Steven Pinker
Autobiography of a Face - Lucy Grealy
The World is Flat - Thomas Freidman
The Decameron - Bocaccio
The Idiot's Guide to World Conflicts

books i've actually read

Bel Canto - Ann Pachett
The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri
Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri

books i've read multiple times

See You Later - Christopher Pike
The Immortal - Christopher Pike
All-of-a-Kind-Family - Sydney Taylor
The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
The Aspern Papers/Turn of the Screw - Henry James
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
Matilda - Roald Dahl

i would to point out that the books that are in my bookshelf that i've actually read multiple times are bad middle-school level murder mysteries and children's books, apart from Ayn Rand and Henry James.

this is embarrassing, but i can't help it. i am, however, still trying. i just bought a book called the origin of wealth, and it cost a lot of money, so i'm hoping that will motivate me to read it. that, and a sudden interest in economics that appeared out of nowhere several months ago and that has persisted, even in the face of veritable opposition from a few well-known heavyweights, including shopping and beer.

i am hoping this new endeavor is successful. if so, i think i will eat some pizza.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the only Pike plot I remember is one involving a girl who had been badly burned a long time ago (who everyone thought was dead), who was actually part of the posse, and no one noticed . . anyway, I think that's what happened. do you remember that one?

10:50 PM  
Blogger Rita said...

Matilda rocks my world.

When I was eleven, I read Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors because I wanted to be literary and smart. It was gibberish about twins. I got sad.

Later, I learned to love Shakespeare. YAY!!

But Shakespeare is this giant paperweight on my coffee table and I read Matilda all the time.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matilda is Roald Dahl phoning it in while sleeping.

BFG . . Danny the Champion of the World . .

FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR SUPERIOR . .. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:54 PM  

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