My first post!
The summer is my time to read.
As a high school English teacher, I read a lot during the school year, but I read a lot of the same thing, over and over again. I've read Things Fall Apart, A Doll's House, Like Water for Chocolate, All Quiet on the Western Front, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and other canonical (in my canon at least) texts over and over with my kids. I reread the chapters I've assigned along with the kids, while I'm planning lessons, pulling discussion questions, writing sample paragraphs. However, when I return home at the end of the day, my brain is tired and taxed and I turn to television comedy.
Last year my brain was so tired (not just from reading, but all the other demands that came with my job) that I couldn't even stand to watch tv dramas anymore! My husband was left to continue with House alone. Law and Order: SVU gave me nightmares. My brain's prescription for recovery was NBC's Thursday night line up (until they canned Community for that drivel Whitney) supplemented by The League and The Soup.
Then summer came! Ah, summer! Long days with the house to myself and hours to read (and then feel guilty when someone asked me what I did all day)! And I read...but I largely reread. I've started a tradition of reading the Harry Potter series start to finish and that marks the official start of summer. I also read the Hunger Games series again. And again.
I read a few new books too, mainly young adult novels and graphic novels. As summer turned to fall though, I was preparing for a new job at a new school and I fell into lethargy. I would take only a familiar book from my childhood to bed to soothe me to sleep like a lullaby.
I was sad and desperate for new worlds, new lives, new friends, new ideas. In short, I was desperate for new books, but too scared to read them.
Here's a secret fear of mine: in, the past, I haven't let myself read new works during the school year, because, with my slightly obsessive/addictive personality, I can not put down a book that engrosses me. I must finish it at the instant I am reading it even if dinner doesn't get made, work doesn't get done, husbands don't get picked up from the train station and are forced to walk home. (Okay, that last one only happened once and it was during the final Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.)
This year I decided to live dangerously; I began to read again. Slowly, carefully, fearfully I tiptoed into the ocean of words, afraid that if I let myself go, I wouldn't be able to focus on other aspects of my life. I would be carried away by a riptide of an epic or stalked by a great white shark of a novel.
In the summer, I had devised the idea for this blog and as I started to read and balance fictional worlds with reality, the blog idea was always there. If books during the school year were the great white lurking in the pages ready to devour my time, writing the blog was the little remora fish that swam along with it. Always there in my peripheral vision, unobtrusive, but causing wonder.
Suddenly I began to think of that little remora as a friend. It would never become the shark, it would never want to devour me and my time. Instead, I could become the shark! The remora would be there for me to eat the parasites in my mind left over from reading, culling all the little bits of flotsam and jetsam left over by a good book. If I had the remora, I could cleanse my palate at the end of the meal and begin again (there's also the idea that it justified my reading).
If you stuck with me thus far, then, here, my friend's is Bibliobrick...the little remora who gathers my thoughts about reading and allows me to move on with my life.