Yes, Virginia, the title does include a SpongeBob reference. GoodReads was a site I once considered a sanctum of sorts, where I could compile my reading list longer than the inventory list of the Library of Babel (extreme hyberbole, right there kids). It also is a place where you can have the world know all about how often you cross-under or how long it takes you to read something. In an age where your nudes are at risk of being leaked, but, pardon me for generalizing, anyone who uses GoodReads might not be the kind of person who takes nudes. Again, pardon me. A bookworm can be kinky. If it weren’t so E.L. James wouldn’t have a career. The world would be without the 1976 Governor General’s Literary Award winner Bear. I don’t know if you have heard or read Bear, but I have read excerpts, pivotal, plot-spoiling experts that required me to take a long shower, and has caused me to look into neurolyzers like the ones from the Men in Black films, but this is not about the depravity of sexuality-themed literature, this is about how GoodReads makes me feel like a piece of shit when it comes to reading. I see people who have read so many books in their life that I feel like I am doing something wrong in mine.
The discomfort I feel and sense of inferiority when it comes to reading likely comes from my membership of my school reading team (5th grade to 8th grade) then (10th grade to 12th grade). I am not too sure if reading team was anything more than a Pennsylvania thing. Reading team was, as the name implies, competitive reading, where a list was composed of 42 books, and a team that represented a certain school would assign books to team members. Most schools had several teams, my school had at least four. A lot of kids wanted to get out school for a day and go to the mall. A team member would have to read at least four books. Each year would have two competitions, one in the fall and one in the spring.
At these competitions there would be three rounds with two teams in a classroom at a host school, being asked questions about the books. The team would sit Indian style, with the captain sitting in the center. One of the moderators would ask team A or team B, “In the book…” and whoever read the book would lean in and whisper into the captain’s ear, or ask to be designated. If the team being asked got it wrong, the other team would get the chance to answer. There were some seasons when I would skim and have to take a lot of notes to ensure reading comprehension. There was one disasterous competition where I just did not care and did not read two of the books, but the books were trash in my eyes. At the end of each competition, the host school would hold an awards ceremony for those who reached a certain amout of points, and the MC of the ceremony would begin every ceremony by asking who read all of the books. My friend Emily would be one of the ones standing every time. Lots of people on the team didn’t believe her. I did. She read a lot. You could tell it brought a challenge. It was hard for her to recall, and she was prone to getting a confused look on her face and running the clock out, while holding her fingertips to her temples , or getting the answer wrong.
Yes, I am “only” nineteen, but there’s so much I want to read, and I feel as though there’s simply not enough time for it all. I wish I could freeze time and stay in a bookstore, or that I had psychometry, but all I can do is read as much as I can and tell myself it’s not how much you read, rather it’s how much you get out of what you read. Part of my heart contests with the last statement, but I will leave it there, all the same. Read…Read until your eyes are weary and teary. That is what I feel wholeheartedly.