… with books.
Ever since I learned how to read, I loved it. There was something about that turning of the page, that dark text on paper, the curves of A to the sharpness of Z, as soon as I learned how it was the only thing I wanted to do. I was that awkward person in the corner of the party who would rather read about friendships than have them. That isn’t to say that I never had friends, I just tended to like my books a little bit better. My childhood was definitely one of a reading nerd.
All this is very well and good, right up until I started University. To jump topics, my very first day at Middlebury this summer my professor for Oral and Written Spanish said this about our coursework: “No es difícil, es mucho.” Now I’m not sure I agree; for one thing quantity preludes difficulty, but I digress. The thing about college is that there is so much to do, every second of every day there is a new experience, or at least an essay due at midnight and late-night cookie deliveries. I spent the eve of my 19th birthday writing an essay, and when I finished at 3am I went to brush my teeth and noticed the entire hall had signed a happy birthday poster that was written in Harry Potter font using a purple Sharpie.
In my cultures class at Middlebury we spoke about “La Movida Madrileña” and my professor quoted someone (I don’t remember who it was) saying that in Spain no one slept, because there was so much that they had the liberty to do once Franco’s regime had ended. Brandeis isn’t exactly recently-liberated Spain, but I still never sleep.
All this is to say, I am a busy individual. Reading, which got my whole life was an escape, somehow became a chore. As a Comparative Literature major with minors in creative writing and classical studies I’ve had to read a lot. Even my other major, linguistics, for all that it is a science has had a hefty amount of reading. Once I finish that Literature essay at 3 am the only thing I want to do is brush my teeth and sleep, not pick up another book.
Feeling this way hasn’t been comfortable to me, and for all that I enjoy college in that small way I haven’t been happy in the thing that I love.
Thankfully, my love in reading has been rekindled once more, but it’s not with Harry Potter this time, it’s with Isabel Allende. The book was “Eva Luna” (in the original Spanish of course; I wasn’t allowed English this summer) that reminded me that reading is fun and I’m happy to have had my experience at Middlebury, because I’ve fallen in love with reading again, and that’s wonderful.