Learning To Read Again

I’m moving into an internet dead zone tonight and it’s going to be strange not to check social media or even look up some irrelevant information for some random reason unknown to myself. The next week will be a time to grow my repertoire of novels and that I’ve managed to collect through years of people buying me them as gifts, assuming that I’m an avid reader. Unfortunately, I’m not which I probably should be considering the implications of being a student where the key thing expected of a student is to read anything and everything. Even the lecturers will often be the first to admit that most academic reading is ‘academic masturbation’ – which is a direct quote from my ever-cheery professor – it’s the end of my first year and I’ve yet to read anything.

Is that depressing in itself? The notion that even a student such as myself has fallen out of reading even the simplest of things because I can get it all from a YouTube tutorial on the mental development stages rather than having to pour through Freud’s ramblings. Oddly enough, I don’t even study psychology. Has the screenplay killed the novel in the 21st Century to an extent where you hear about one in a million successes like J.K. Rowling but crappy yet commercially successful scripts like Sharknado are a dime a dozen. Admittedly, I’m part of the problem as I’d much rather have internet connection and binge all six seasons of Suits than even attempt to read anything by Dan Brown.

Personally, I blame my own lack of reading squarely at the doorstep of Ian Fleming, who I studied in a language module a few years ago. As a kid, I loved James Bond and all fourteen books as I had got through them when I loved reading when I was eleven –  I had no actual idea what was going on but the thought was there. Then, when I sat down and sifted through every bit of misogyny, racism and creepiness, my idea of the ultimate cool fictional male role model collapsed and I was left with either The Doctor or Batman. I’ve never felt so cheated and now I can’t even glance over at the collection on my shelf without feeling grim. Thank God for Roger Moore, right?

Maybe that’s a tip to take away for everyone. If you love something, don’t analyse it or you’ll end up hating it. I guess it’s a massive ‘fuck you’ to every student studying their favourite subjects at university, paying through the nose for the privilege, only to understand that unfortunate joke. Now more than ever, I don’t think I have any intention of making films after I graduate, considering the only enjoyable position I have had is boom pole operator which is a role not often given to people of my height.

So, with no internet I’m going to have to learn to read again which is something many a holiday-maker has found sitting around the pool. Who knows, in just a week I could finish Paradise Lost, which I’ve always wanted to finish, and maybe slip in a bit of a Stephen King classic. Unfortunately, it’s the 21st Century and I’ll probably wither away and die like Yoda before that happens.

Learning To Read Again

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