Every now and then I get a really strong feeling of nostalgia for books. You know, the dead trees and all that. Unfortunately, I know have the attention span of a hamster on amphetamines so I doubt I’ll ever get into books again. That and Tetris on the DS Lite just makes things worse.
I never seriously read books until college. One of the unfortunate things about my early school life was that I was not only lazy but I could get by (no straight As but Bs were like my Cs). I had an allergy to all forms of thinking and even exercise. When I was little I came up with a theory that the more you used any part of your mind or body, the quicker you die.
It also didn’t help that the majority of teachers up to high school were essentially low-level local government bureaucrats that not only didn’t care about their jobs but were apathetic or downright hostile. Their job wasn’t to teach but to babysit. And it doesn’t surprise me now, reflecting on it as an adult. Most of these teachers were regular college graduates who probably didn’t have a passion to learn much less teach.
Of course, being a lazy bastard only made it worse. In college I got the shock of my life when suddenly we had professors that were obsessed with the pursuit of knowledge. They of course taught to pay the bills because they’d rather be researching or reading. Yet they had an enthusiasm that caught on and an awe inspiring passion for knowledge. They literally couldn’t stop talking at lectures and it caught on.
I started by reading fiction since I figured it would go down easier than non-fiction. I had to look up words in the dictionary often to see what words really meant. It was a task but one that paid off well in the years to come.
For some reason I started off by reading Roots by Alex Hailey. It was a (I now realize) mostly fictional story of an African-American family starting with an African dude jacking off with his brother in the brushes along the coast only to be kidnapped by European slave traders and sold to America (which is pretty much what North Korea does to random Japanese in this day and age, funny how little changes). After that I spent some time reading classic works of fiction like Crime and Punishment and any other great literature I could get my hands on moving into history and non-fiction. I mostly read a lot of self-improvement and health books after graduating which I now realize is just a bunch of regurgitated garbage.
Nowadays most of my reading comes from blogs and esoteric APIs. I long for the days when I simply curled up to a good book.