Monday, August 15, 2011

Reading - Who knew it could be so fun?!

Librarians and nerds probably.  Ha!

Seriously though.  Growing up (K-12), I couldn't name you a single book that I read front to back.  Not a single one.  Yes, we were required to read books, but as soon as I found I could still get an A or a B in a class without reading said book, I didn't read them.  I may have skimmed chapters, or read bits and part, but I never went through a whole book, front to back, especially not quickly or with any desire too.

Fast forward from that time, 12 years to now.  I'm 30 and while I've now read a few books, never any with real passion.  I still read a few books though, but most because I was "suppose" to for one reason or another.  The sad thing was, I was in a strange way proud of this "no reading" attitude.  This all changed a couple of months ago.

Over the last couple of years I've become more and more interested in the American food system, what food really is, and how we can make better choices.  This blog became focused based on a lot of those beliefs. I began to realize how mislead the general population is regarding food, and how it's never talked about in mainstream media.  I began looking for other resources.  Through this search for more information, I began reading a lot.  Not books, but dozens of different blogs, articles, forums, etc.  All of which, the culmination of could easily constitute many books.  I never considered all this reading to actually be "reading."  Weird huh!?  I never considered it "reading" (which to me was something painfully boring), it was instead informative and interesting.  The first time I thought about all this reading I was doing, was with an off-the-cuff comment Lynette made about the fact that I probably read way more than she does with all the blogs and stuff I look at.  She had a very good point, and it was like a light bulb went off.

Quickly I started finding my Amazon wishlist filling up with books of varying topics instead of other random items (which still find their way on the list).  I found myself craving books to read, but still not actually reading any.

A few weeks after the light bulb moment, we made a stop at Half Priced Books so I could browse some of their food oriented books.  It was there that I found a couple of books I had been wanting to read:  The Omnivore's Dilemma (If you clicked on this, you're seeing the right link. In my excitement, all I noticed was the first part of the title and glazed over "The Young Readers Edition" part.  Don't worry, I'm planning on re-reading the actual book) and In Defense of Food, both by Michael Pollan.  I read both of these within a week and a half (an unimaginable speed as compared with my past reading "accomplishments).  Then I wanted more.

I soon re-discovered this magical land called a library!!  Wooooooooo!  It was awesome!  This was just 3 weeks ago at this point, and I picked out a couple more books.  The first one I tried to read, I won't even tell you the name of because after 30 pages I became annoyed with the writing style, confusing story line, and the authors general attitude so I just closed it and moved on to the next book.  The second book: Living At Nature's Pace: Farming and the American Dream by Gene Logsdon was amazing!  Amazing!  I'll buy the book someday because I think it will turn into an annual read.  It was that good!

We recently returned those and I got a few more.  A couple of which were less read front to back and more browse like Self-Sufficiency for the 21st Century. It's an information packed book, but most of the information will be more useful once we own a place.  It's very interesting though.  The books that are next up to read are Against the Grain and then Soul of a Dog. I'm excited to get started on both, but first my biggest reading accomplishment ever!

I read a whole book, front to back, in less than one day!!  It's a book I had been wanting to read for a while, but just kept putting off.  It's written by a farmer in Georgia.  He and his wife have a podcast that I thoroughly enjoy and have listened too since a few months after they started it.  I've read some of their blog, but not nearly as much as I want to.  I found out last week that they are speaking at a big food fair in Cincinnati, OH on August 20th.  It's called the Farmers' Fair, and since we didn't have anything going on that day, I knew we had to try and make it.  I knew first though, that I needed to read their book, The Accidental Farmers.  Luckily, I had bought Lynette a Kindle for a wedding present so I ordered the book in the late morning, and finished it by late evening!  I couldn't believe it.  I finished a whole book, in one day.  The book was great!  He definitely pulled no punches with regards to some of the horrors involved with their type of farming.  In general terms, it's an ideal that Lynette and I are planning our lives towards, just not farming on their scale.  We're looking more towards producing enough for ourselves and extra for our family, but as of right now, not farming for consumers.  Lynette is currently sitting next to me and reading it right now.  I'll be very interested to chat with her about her thoughts on it, and maybe even get a chance to meet Tim and Liz this weekend!

Not all the books are food related books, but so far they have been the ones that have garnered the most excitement.  I do have some books on hold/order from the library that are of a different subject matters so it'll be nice to be able to break some of the food stuff up with other topics.

I never thought I would be someone who would enjoy reading, but now there are quite a few nights where Lynette and I will sit on the couch together, and read for an hour or two a night.  It's really great, and I love the fact that she doesn't judge me for acting like a little kid in a candy store when we go to the library!

Does anyone out there have similar experiences with discovering reading later in life?  Do you have any book suggestions?

No comments: