I was reading through a friend’s exhaustive but incredibly insightful journal entries on her blog when I came to an epiphany about a treasured hobby of mine:
I love reading.
I remember the first day I timidly read aloud for a ‘reading mum’ at my primary school, and discovered the joy of reading. I haven’t stopped since.
I have devoured children’s books, novels, short stories, fan fiction, textbooks, news articles and magazines, whole. Sci-fi, philosophy, fantasy, thriller…
I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy when I was thirteen. I read Angels and Demons by Dan Brown when I was fourteen. And I read Isaac Asimov when I was fifteen.
And when I was sixteen, I read the delightfully dark children’s series A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. (There’s some irony in this order.)
When I was seventeen I took up the study of literature, where I read Pride & Prejudice so many times over that I may not even touch it ever again. I also finally imbibed the language of the venerable bard in his race-conscious play Othello. Magnificent in its way, but to this day I do wonder if Shakespeare is overly lauded.
Now in my national service, my appetite for words per se may have waned somewhat, but for books itself it has not, as I power through the ultrafictional lore that is Superman, Batman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Spiderman, The Spirit, Swamp Thing, Sandman…and the vivid shades and bold dark lines that are a joy to savour.
But as I walk among the towering shelves in my community library, or trawl the vast information superhighway, gobbling up posts from Wikipedia, BoingBoing, Slashdot, Lifehacker, xkcd and friends’ blogs as they are all funnelled through my RSS feed reader, it occurs to me that this world has too much information.
I have yet to read Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost in the Highest, David Patterson, Larry Niven’s Ringworld series, Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, The Great Gatsby, Romeo and Juliet, Twilight (I just want to see what the hype is all about), the rest of the Sandman anthology, the last devotional email that landed in my inbox…there is just Too Much Information. Heck, I have failed to read (and digest) the Bible cover to cover. Thrice.
My voracity for reading will never be able to conquer the sheer amount of books, essays, graphic novels, blogs, memes, that contain countless volumes upon volumes of wisdom, inanity, humour, and beauty. And I will never be able to finish it all.
And while this prospect overwhelms me, it also excites me.
Because there will always be something to read. And I will never stop.
And now, back to reading my friend’s blog.