04 April 2014

Reading vs Running

i have always been a reader but it is only in the last six months that i have felt confident enough to call myself a runner.

Before i started running, i was easily consuming at least 5-6 novels a month. i lost myself in Dickens, Austen, Hardy and Tolkien. When i started running, an interesting thing happened...my reading fell by the wayside. Never before had i gone so long, reading so little.

Looking back, i realize why i stopped reading. i am pushing myself so hard physically that when i finally sit down, i am so worn out. i would open my novels and get nowhere. But the real problem was that i still expected to gobble up Tolstoy, Steinbeck and Darwin. It was heavy stuff! Not only that, but i felt guilty abandoning it once i had started. i couldn't bring myself to move on to something else. On top of everything, my personal scripture study has been to read through the Old Testament (not exactly the easiest of studies).

Then i found Daniel Pennac's "Reader's Bill of Rights":

1. The right to not read

2. The right to skip pages

3. The right to not finish

4. The right to reread

5. The right to read anything

6. The right to escapism

7. The right to read anywhere

8. The right to browse

9. The right to read out loud

10. The right to not defend your tastes

That was enough for me! i decided i didn't have to feel bad about reading light and easy. i abandoned "The Silmarillion," "The Pipwick Papers," and "Jesus the Christ." i went to the library and stocked up on YA lit and paperback adult fantasy. And i have CONSUMED them--and i'm not even embarrassed to admit it. Although i do feel a little less guilty since i have discovered that i do run better and faster blasting a book in my ears instead of music, even if the book is not a page turner (now playing "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac).

i'm sure that someday i will delve back into my classics. After all, i do love them immensely. But for now, i will get lost in the Dresden Files.
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