I’m taking part in the weekly Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers, where teachers write and share each Tuesday. Join in yourself or head over to check out what’s happening with other slicers. If you’re taking part in the SOL, leave a link to your post. I’d love to read it.
That’s not really the question since I’m always reading. But believe it or not, I don’t wish to read every book I’ve come across. When I came across this post from Deb Day, I knew I wanted to share it with my students and write it myself.
The assignment is inspired by a quote from Oscar Wilde:
Books, I fancy, may be conveniently divided into three classes: 1. Books to read 2. Books to reread 3. Books not to read at all.
That reminded me of a quote from Sir Francis Bacon that I first encountered in high school. I’ve never forgotten it (or the gist of it, anyway. I had to look up the exact words).
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
These quotes do describe how I read books. Some books I devour quickly in one sitting. If it is a really good book, I might reread in order to digest it more slowly. Some books I scan and skip through, looking for just the information I need. Occasionally, I will find a book that forces me to slow down and savor from the very beginning. It doesn’t happen often, but I have found books that I’d just as soon not read. Here are my selections for each category as of right now. If you ask me the same question tomorrow, I just might have different answers.
Books to Read
This is the hardest to narrow down. I have books to read stacked on my desk, stashed in boxes, and listed on GoodReads–all waiting for me to read them. These are the books that are nearest the top of my TBR pile that I will be reading over spring break next week.
Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant by Veronica Roth
I must be the only reader left in the world who has not read this trilogy yet. It’s not that I don’t want to. I just haven’t found time amongst all the other books, but now that the movie is upon us, I don’t want to put it off any longer. I ordered the complete set last Saturday and look forward to reading them from beginning to end all at once.
The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
It was so hard to choose just one from the box that has the books from the latest book order. All of these titles are ones that I’ve been hearing such good things about from my Nerdy Book Club friends. The Mighty Miss Malone comes to the top because I loved Bud, Not Buddy. When I heard that Curtis gave Miss Malone her own story, I knew I wanted to read it.
Books to Reread
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I first read Jane Eyre when I was in middle school. I can remember curling up with a stack of pillows and blankets in the bottom of my closet, reading by the light of the lamp I drug in. (Don’t judge me. The closet was the only place I could escape my brother and hide the soul-wracking sobs that the end of story brought on. Jane was so brave and smart and feisty. And Mr. Rochester was so mysterious. I still pull this book out every few years to read again.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
A friend lent me her boxed set of the entire Chronicles when I was in the hospital in fifth grade. Peter, Susan, Edmond, Lucy, and all the rest kept me company during those long days and nights in the hospital. (And caused my doctor much frustration because I preferred reading to resting.) As soon as I got home, I begged my parents to buy me my own set. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve reread them in the years since. They were the first chapter books I wanted to share with my daughter, and I still love them. Whenever I need a break from my life, I know a trip to Narnia will give me a fresh perspective.
Books Not to Read at All
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Yes, I’m an English major and an English teacher, and I have never read Moby Dick. I tried. I got about a third of the way into it (when the main character–I’ve forgotten his name and refuse to look it up–finally makes it onto the deck of the ship. I found I had no patience for the lengthy detours and details on the way to the main story. I did read the graphic novel version about the time I gave up on Moby Dick. Comparing the graphic novel to what I did read, I can’t say that the graphic novel left out anything important at all. I will not be going back to this one–ever.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
True confession. I actually did read this book. I didn’t get it. I tried it more than once. But I still don’t get it. Why do people say it is a great love story? Who could possibly fall in love with Heathcliff? I just don’t get the appeal. It’s dark and depressing. I have finally given up. This love story is not for me. I will never get it.