Throughout the (almost) twenty-one years I have been able to speak, I have confidently asserted a variety of future plans.
“I’m going to be an artist,” my five-year-old self declared to inquiring adults, proffering pictures of family members with potato bodies, toothpick limbs, and impossibly wide smiles.
This was followed by a fifteen year period of “I’m going to be doctor,” which I stubbornly insisted upon despite a variety of red flags (including a very real phobia of puking people).
It was only during my first semester of college as a pre-med student that I recognized my folly, surreptitiously skipping many a chemistry class in order to dedicate my efforts to a required lit seminar: “Shakespeare’s Major Tragedies.”
The moment of recognition went something like this: “Shit. There won’t be any lit classes in med school.”
As far back as my memory reaches, books have been an essential part of my existence. Even as an illiterate toddler I carried around piles of books and “read” by reciting the story from memory. (Shout out to my dad for putting in long hours reading through the pile as part of my bedtime ritual.)
I began reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in first grade and finished the final words of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the summer before eighth grade (the day it came out, obviously). In the interim, I devoured all varieties of fiction, including the timeless stories of Roald Dahl, the tales of the resourceful feminist Nancy Drew, the blatantly Catholic Chronicles of Narnia, the youth-friendly murder mysteries of Marry Higgins Clark, the obligatory Twilight Saga, and anything and everything by resident boy-expert, Meg Cabot.
With less time to read in high school, I prioritized homework from English class over Calculus and packed as much reading into my summers as possible. One summer I spent an entire month on Jane Eyre and felt hugely accomplished as I crossed out the title on my stained and wrinkled “101 classics to read” list. I then immediately turned to the inviting pink jacket of Tina Fey’s Bossypants to decompress.
Now an English major at Notre Dame, my love for books has deepened in the company of brilliant professors, visionary authors, and most of all, talented and thoughtful fellow students. I love every minute of it – okay, except for 4am when I’ve already had 5 coffees and I would rather be talking to people, watching reruns of The Office, or sleeping than railing on Kate Chopin’s misogynistic contemporary critics for 10 double-spaced pages.
I almost feel physically uncomfortable without a book nearby. I carry books like some people carry miniature purse dogs – a faithful companion for waiting rooms and car rides; a respite from boredom and monotony; a dependable conversation-starter for awkward social moments.
I have a tendency to take my current read to places where I know I’ll never have a chance to open it, like the Starbucks drive-through, my job at Dean Younce Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and the library cubicle where I’m supposed to be uber-focused on studying for finals. It’s borderline compulsive.
Essentially, this blog is an opportunity to reevaluate, revel in, and share my books. With plans to work in the editing and publishing realm of productive society one day, it will be valuable to practice reviewing books. And though I claim only a nominal understanding of this blogging platform and a limited arsenal of life-experience and material as a twenty-year-old college student, I am giddily excited to start nerding out about books on the internet.