There are a lot of things I really miss about being a University student. Aside from all the fun stuff outwith the coursework itself, I miss learning new things and discussing them with other interested people, being introduced to books I might not otherwise have encountered and being forced to discover new ideas through assignments such as essay writing.
But one thing I love about not being a student anymore is the freedom to read whatever tickles my fancy. As an English major, I was always too swamped with the reading in my three or four English courses I'd be taking during any given semester to find time to read for pleasure. Often the reading I was assigned did end up pleasurable, but it was still not my own choice. And trying to read sometimes three or four different books all in the same week often did take the joy right out of reading.
At University I always claimed I loved classic literature, but deep down I was a bit afraid that maybe I only loved it because it was all I had the opportunity to read. What if, when all this is over, I realise I actually really enjoy chick lit? What if in reality, I'm totally into sci-fi? This was actually a real worry.
But I've happily discovered it is not so. I have actually tried to read a few 'lite' books, and honestly, I always have to stop after a couple of chapters (or pages) from total distress and boredom.
At first, I just reread some of the books I'd been assigned that interested me but I'd not been able to fully enjoy. Then I started buying books that I'd heard about in class but never read. I started discovering real preferences. I started developing my own taste. Shockingly, I've found that 18th century literature is my favourite. Who knew?
So, basically, I say all of that as an introduction to telling you that I just bought two new books that I'm so excited about, I can barely decide which to read first. And I can barely make myself finish the one I'm currently reading before I delve into those. They are Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy) and Nausea (Jean-Paul Sartre). I'm giddy just thinking about them!
And to ramble on further, along with classic lit, I really, truly enjoy reading books on theology. Again, I wondered at one point if it was just a fad or if I just liked a certain few, but no, really, theology makes me as giddy as the classics. Unfortunately, it's harder to pop in the bookstore and find a quality theology book, so my repetoire and collection in the theology department is more scarce than I'd like it to be, but between my collection, Scott's collection and the books I steal from my dad, I've had enough to read. Right now (maybe I already mentioned this somewhere?) I'm rereading In the Face of God (Michael Horton) and am picking up on bits I'd missed the first time. I'm also feeling a bit more leisurely with it, since I've read it before, so I've been taking my time looking up his references in Scripture and googling other theologians/authors/books he refers to.
So it's confession time.
Though I don't like publicising my true arrogant reading pride, I've come across a book that I'd like to read... but can't bring myself to purchase. I want to read it solely for the sake of interest, not because I endorse or believe or agree with anything the book is about. If we had a proper library that might possibly have it on the shelf, I'd simply check it out. But we don't (that I know of), and I'd be a bit horrified to have this book sitting on my shelf with all my other books. As I noted today on a gift card in WHSmith, 'A man is judged by the books he reads'. I don't want someone clever coming over, perusing my bookshelves and seeing (here it comes) Fire From Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Re-shaping of Religion in the 21st Century (Harvey Cox), for that clever person might think I'm - gasp! - a closet Pentacostal!
I think, however, maybe I should get rid of our copies of Wild At Heart and Captivating before getting too self-congratulatory regarding our reading collection.
And maybe, if I can find Fire From Heaven on Amazon for super cheap, putting it on the shelf between Spurgeon's sermons and Patterns of Reform (James Kirk) will exonerate me.
Right. Okay. Enough about books and my tastlessly pretentious narcissism. I bought a book for Schmooker. It's better than my whole collection put together:
Boris is a hand puppet that kisses you with his tickly face!