Monday, July 31, 2006

Why don't I read anymore??

When I was a kid I read all the time. I felt like such a dork, but it really was what I usually wanted to be doing. Even during spare moments in the car, on the school bus, in between classes, I always spent my time reading.

Now that I'm an adult, I don't understand why I do not enjoy reading as much as I used to. I still like books and I still read them, but not the way I wish I would. Perhaps I have read one too many dry textbooks and spoiled the thought of reading. I really hope I can get myself interested in reading again--and more than just fiction.

I came across a book yesterday called Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green To Me: The Politics of Nature by Jeffrey St. Clair, an investigative journalist. Of course, being in the store I didn't have much time to thoroughly leaf through it and get a good sense of what type of book it is, but it definitely struck me as one worth looking into a bit more. Perhaps I can find it at the library when I get back to school. What I want is comprehensive coverage of the environment, fair, well-rounded (i.e., not just bashing W. for pushing to open ANWR for drilling), and provocative. Not that I need to be provoked into believing that the environmental state is deplorable at the moment, but I do want to read something that is not just propaganda. I don't know who Jeffrey St. Clair is, but it intrigues me that he is titled an "investigative journalist." Who knew that such reporters even existed anymore? So, perhaps I will give this book a try soon.

One book I started reading early in the summer is The Heart of a Distant Forest by Philip Lee Williams--my nature writing professor! It was unique, written in the style of a journal rather than a narrative, but unfortunately I didn't get very far into it before I moved to Atlanta, forgetting to bring the book with me. It's not a very long book, so I hope to be able to pick it up when I get home and read it from start to finish before school gets back in. (With Bob at intern training all week and working on the weekends, I should have plenty of time to myself...)

My professor is publishing another book, which is to be released this fall, called In the Morning: Reflections From First Light, which I certainly plan to buy. I love the mornings, and this man is a freaking authority on mornings, since he gets up at about 4:30 every day! Seriously, his engagement with nature is deep (his class helped to change my whole perspective on the world) and his writing is beautiful, and I will be thrilled to read his essays on morning.

I did not intend this post to be a rave about Dr. Williams, but while I am on the subject I am going to recommend one of his other books: The Silent Stars Go By, a nonfiction narrative of Christmas memoirs from his childhood. I read this book my sophomore year of college, and it was the catalyst that made me decide to pursue my love of writing again (as I took a long hiatus from any serious writing during my latter years in high school). Anyway, it is a short book and it is something different, and if you are ever struck with the desire to read it I give it my highest praise.

See? I told you I really do love books. I love them so much that while I was writing all of that, I completely forgot that I have been in a no-reading rut lately. So maybe that's all about to change... Maybe all I need to do is remind myself that I really am passionate about reading.

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