Saturday, December 12, 2009

Book Learnin'

So it's winter break, that wonderful time of the year when I get to lounge around my parents' house as a rent-free boarder. In exchange for baking things and vacuuming, I get pretty much as much time to myself as I want. And I'm filling that time largely with reading and writing.

Right now I'm reading Beloved by Toni Morrison, a story about a woman living in Ohio after the Civil War with her daughter, a friend of her husband's, and the ghost of the baby she murdered, who has now taken the form of a young woman who calls herself Beloved. It's delightfully creepy and it's got me constantly on edge. The book was a recommendation from my English professor from last semester, whose opinion I grow more and more certain of all the time.

Hopefully soon I'll have it finished and be able to say something meaningful about it, but right now I'm just immersed in the pleasure of reading for no reason. It's not easy reading; it's what The Professor calls "sitting-up, pen-in-hand reading"--and yet, hunched at it over the kitchen table, chewing on a piece of stale gum and honing in on the words, I feel more relaxed than I have all semester.

My friend Daniel tells me that reading for pleasure stimulates a part of the brain that reading for an assignment doesn't--and that it causes mad awesome brain growth. So presumably I should be getting smarter soon. Although I worry that the other reading I've been doing--back issues of fashion magazines, a book of spooky stories for kids--may cancel it all out.

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