Friday, March 30, 2012
Up until the middle of college, I was an avid television watcher. On average, 5 hours of my day were spent watching tv. I also read happily - whenever I was in a place where tv wasn't. I thought that my love of tv was normal, and even took pride amongst my classmates that I was "allowed" to watch so much.
It was only after graduating college and getting rid of tv that I realised how damaging this addiction was. I wasn't "allowed" to spend the majority of my waking hours outside of school watching tv, I was put in front of the screen because it was a convenient way of getting rid of me. Other people were considered threats to the authority of my guardians and tv kept me from realising just how few people were in my life.
In high school, my obsession with tv had finally become clear to my mother as a destructive force. She told me, especially when I began thinking about college, that her friends in college read and discussed books as entertainment. It didn't seem to occur to her that it wasn't the motivation for literature debate that I lacked, but the fellows. My friends and I in high school were Wiccan and we exchanged many books on that, but any socialising outside of school was forbidden to me. People will leave tv on to "make their pets feel less alone" while they're at work, it was used the same way for me.
Still, whenever I wasn't at home, I took every opportunity to read. And exchanging books with my friends, however small the genre, delighted me. This continued in college, though I was irked by how many people in this supposedly advanced academic atmosphere loathed reading. More often than not, recommendations were never taken nor followed up with discussion. My poor professors, who couldn't get most of their students to read the material, let alone ENJOY it.
Only within the past year (graduated college 05/09), have I found a social circle in which books are passed around and enthusiastically discussed. Middlesex by Eugenides, Lolita by Nabokov, The Bell Jar by Plath, Where Good Ideas Come From by Johnson, Sex at Dawn by Ryan & Jetha, The Morning After by Roiphe, The Hunger Games by Collins, Good Omens by Gaiman & Pratchett, Monstrous Regiment by Pratchett, Sacred Clowns by Hillerman, Siddartha by Hesse, John Green, The Secret Garden by Burnett, Anne of Green Gables by Montgomery, Karen Armstrong, Jessica Valenti, The Ethical Slut by Easton & Hardy, etc.