Skip to main content

Well Read? So what.

Instead of doing classwork this morning, or volunteering (I'm in grad school-taking two classes this quarter, and I volunteer multiple times a year for multiple causes) I spent the morning pondering this article. To break it down, the author questions what it means to be well read and why it is important.
So, to clarify, is being well read having read a percent of The Best Books Ever list (not a real list)? What percent is well read: 80% of the list? 40% of the list? More importantly, what does it matter?
I consider myself to be well read, but my definition has more to do with the idea of reading the choice titles from every genre. I don't like romance novels or really deep science fiction, but I have read Asimov and Austen.
One would think that my being well read would help in my job at the library. The truth is many of the folks I work with could not be considered "readers" let alone "well read" and they function just fine working the card catalog. Just because I know the book (because I read it) and know where it is on the shelf does not make my job at the library easier-I just feel it improves the patron's experience. But does the patron care that I read that book? Do they care that I thought it was a waste or time or the greatest book ever? Probably not. Would you want the grocery clerk reviewing your purchase of cereal at the check out counter? No, I keep my opinion to myself.
Being well read does help me, but not in ways that you would expect. For example, I get more enjoyment out of the allusions in The Simpsons. I know the reference is from a book. I see the humor in some t shirts, while others scratch their heads.
Has being well read helped my financial situation-nope, in fact it has hurt. Everytime I have to buy a book the library does not own, that is less money I have to invest.
Has being well read made me the life of the party? No, in fact my Charles Darnay jokes are met with blank stares and I would do better watching Dancing with the Stars as conversation topic.

Should I just quit, and spend the many hours I read exercizing instead? Hell, no. Because no matter what being well read has NOT done for me what it has given me is priceless. My reading skills are gold medal. I have the ability to plow through Shakespeare as well as Vampire Academy. Reading has broadened my world. I wish I could reach in my brain, erase Cloud Atlas, and read it again for the first time. I have walked in many people's shoes, and I have empathy and a love of human nature. I can look at a beautiful landscape and think about how Alice Hoffman might describe it.
In the end, being well read makes me a better person.
I want to share this with you. Here is another great article about being well read (from a list). Here is the BBC list. And, in case you find it is important but still don't have time to read, here is a link to an article that will help you fake it.

Now, tell me what you think. Are you well read? Does it matter? Does it matter that you read at all?


Popular posts from this blog

Nebula Award Nominees 2017- Short Stories

This post is my progress report on my self-challenge to read all of the 2017  Nebula nominees! So far, I have completed the short story category and most of the the novelettes. I have 3 novellas and 3 novels to go.

Nebula Award Nominees 2017- Short Stories

What fun! I would never have read any of these stories on my own, although I expect some of these will show up in some future anthologies.
I have one personal gripe, and this will come up again in another category, and that is the death of the horror genre. Because they have just killed "horror" and lumped scary stories in with science fiction and fantasy, we get stories like SabbathWine trying to compete with Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies and it's not fair. It really is apples and oranges. Don't believe me about horror? Go find the horror section in the Barnes and Noble. Go ahead, I'll wait. 

     Griping over, this selection of stories was AWESOME and heavy on the fantasy stories. Seasons and Wardrobe are fan…

Reading Challenge: Read all of the Nebula Nominees

I am on a mission to read all of the Nebula Award Nominees before the awards are presented on May 20th. This was prompted by the fact that I see these awards all of the time and I have only recently gotten hooked on science fiction so I think it is important to understand what the community thinks is the best of the best. I plan to do the exact same thing for the Hugos, but I have time.
Unlike childrens' book awards, in which awards do not in any way equal popularity, readers seem to like to award favorites.

It's no secret I am just crazy about N.K. Jemisin and her writing. Honestly it is because of she and Kameron Hurley and Becky Chambers and Jacqueline Koyanagi and Charlie Jane Anders and John Scalzi and James S.A. Corey (both of them) that I find myself absolutely loving this genre. I have NO desire to go back and read early science fiction with dorky cartoon covers featuring sexy aliens and white dudes holding Jetson-esque blasters. I want to read forward. I like where …

Seize The City

I'm about to hit you with a group game that 1. costs very little money to make 2. sounds a lot harder than it actually is. Ready? Okay!

This summer we will be playing Seize the City. It's modeled after my game Seize the Castle. The only thing changing here are the trivia questions will now be super hero themed and instead of a castle in the center, there will be a "city". Something akin to this:
Image borrowed from Etsy for visual aid purpose only. My teen volunteers will actually be making the city from scratch and it will look however they want it to :) 

Because this game already exists in castle form, you will just have to use your imagination.
And because NO Thing is really original here is what started me on the path to Seize the Castle greatness:

The Game:

You will need:

Up to 20 players
2 mats with grids taped out on them
1 cardboard/foam core castle (or city, for summer)