Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Reader's Guilt

So, one of the books that I intend to read over the summer is Ivanhoe. It's been on my "I mean to read it" list for ages now, ever since I devoured my Edward Eager books and the characters talked about what a fantastic story it was - and they're, like, TEN.

And Gatsby, and Beloved, and The Catcher in the Rye, and Paradise Lost, and Jane Eyre... Ugh. I am weighed down with reader's guilt.

It's not that I don't READ. I read a LOT. I just got finished putting books away and cleaning up our library and let me tell you that took QUITE awhile. I'm not sure we've hit a grand yet, but we're getting close.

But I've got to admit, I'm definitely something of an escapist. And I'm phenomenally impatient. And as a result, I don't read - or don't make it through - books I feel I "should." I'm an English teacher, for goodness' sake! I feel like such a hypocrite. *sigh*


mrschili said...

Oh, you know what? This is a HUGE thing for me. I graduated from high school, and then TWICE from college, and I've never read The Great Gatsby (though, I've been told, I'm not missing all that much). There are a TON of classics that I've not read yet, and I, too, feel guilt about that.

Stop and think for a minute, though. How - if at all - have these gaps in your reading experience negatively impacted your ability to actually TEACH? I'm betting the answer to that question is something like "pfft! Not at ALL!" Yeah - that's my point.

Read them because you WANT to, not because you're somehow a deficient English geek for not having read them. I can recommend Beloved from your short list, but all the others can be safely consumed from the Cliffs Notes (or the summaries on literature.org). Really...

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