The Simple Joys of Reading

One of the simple joys of being a college graduate is getting to reengage in my love of reading. I’ve always loved books for their ability to transport the reader to exciting worlds different from their own. Plus, their is no better feeling than being in the middle of a novel; waiting with bated breath to see what happens next.

Two years ago, I got the first generation Amazon Kindle and I absolutely love it. Reading with an electronic reader has transformed and enriched my reading experience. I’ve often tried to put into words my admiration for the Kindle and the seemingly revolutionary concept of e-books.

With e-books, the reading experience has become interactive. Not only does Kindle allow me to adjust the size of my text; it also has a built in dictionary that helps the reader understand words they may not be sure of. I especially enjoy the changing of text size because now I don’t have to settle for teeny-tiny print that’ll do no more than hurt my eyes. Also, I’m no longer carrying around the weight of a book; so now I can read whatever I want with the freedom to take it with me wherever I go. Before, it wasn’t much fun to lug around 500+ page books nor could they easily fit in a suitcase when traveling.

But this blog post is not an advertisement for Kindle. I just happen to really love their product. For all the critics out there, I’ve never used Barnes and Noble’s Nook or Apple’s Ipad. I got a Kindle before both those products hit the market and have a loyalty to the brand.

Anyway, it’s been so nice to get back to reading for pleasure. After years of reading for classes and because certain books were required, I can now read whatever books I choose. The freedom is liberating.

I admire schools for creating reading lists but reading books chosen for you drained all the love out of it for me. Whenever a book is chosen for you, it always became that much harder for me to enjoy it. Getting kids and teenagers to read is a wonderful goal of the public school system, but let them pick the books. They’ll enjoy it more.

The catch-22 is that the younger generations would more likely pick books from Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight saga or J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. It’s books like these getting kids to read and I’m really happy that their is a product out there making younger generations excited about the written word. However, I do agree with school systems who’d rather see their students reading something more substantive.

But that’s besides the point. I already finished two books this summer and I’m on my third. I’ve read David Wroblewski’s The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists: A Novel.

To be fair, I did begin the first book last summer and with finishing up college and starting life in the real world, I got around to finishing it in early June. I’ve referenced Edgar Sawtelle at least once on here, in the post about Steven Huneck’s memorial service. But the book made me think hard about life choices I made with regards to the dogs I’ve had in my life. A sweeping epic; it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.

The book tells the story of the Sawtelle Family, who raise dogs for a living on their Wisconsin farm. Their only child, Edgar, is born mute but develops a special relationship with their dog, Almondine.


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