So I just finished reading the third book of Song of Ice and Fire, (A Storm of Swords), and my mind has been completely boggled with its ending so I don’t want to do another book review right now. Instead, I thought I’d take some time to write about my cover photo because it actually is more than just a random piecing together of 4 pictures and it tells a lot about myself as a reader and person.
The first photo, as you can see, contains a quote from Harper Lee. This picture has two-fold meaning for me. The first is a little more obvious and that is because it comes directly from the quote: “The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one that makes you think.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about a good fluff book every now and then, but the ones that really stick with me are the books that make me think. I believe that a good book is the one that challenges you and makes you think differently about life. The second meaning is in regards directly to the author and my goal to read more “classic” books. As an English major and self proclaimed book-nerd I feel like there’s this “list” of books that every English major should have read throughout their courses or just in life in general. I did not read To Kill a Mockingbird until I was 23, and that makes me sad and a little ashamed. It was never a book that was assigned reading in my classes and I never got around to reading it until last year. I loved it. I couldn’t put it down. And so, part of my goal is to pick up books that belong on this so-called “list” that I have yet to read.
Moving on to the second photograph. I mentioned in my first blog post that I was an English and French major. I studied abroad in France the summer after my sophomore year of college and it was by far one of the best experiences of my life. After returning from France, most of my French courses turned from language to literature where I studied a lot of French existentialism which is a period of literature that I love. This picture represents my love of France, its culture, and also how I feel about books. I do believe that they are the passport to your soul, you can discover who you really are and what you want to accomplish by reading different books.
Number three as you can probably see is Marilyn Monroe reading Ulysses. I’ve always been a fan of this rather famous photograph since to me it always stood for the fact that a beautiful woman such as Ms. Monroe can read books and challenge herself. I say challenge because anyone who has tried to pick up Ulysses knows how much of a challenge it is.
Ulysses also holds a special place in my heart because it was the novel that I chose to write about for my senior thesis paper. As an English major at Villanova you’re required to take one seminar class your senior year that focuses on a specific area of literature. My course was called Modernist Sexualities and the second half the term focused solely on Ulysses (not nearly enough time, I ended up taking an entire semester on Joyce my spring semester of senior year). And on the topic of Ulysses, Happy Bloomsday to all you fellow book nerds out there!
Finally, number 4 is simple. I’ve loved reading ever since I was able to read my first sentence. When I first started reading and realized I got carsick, I forced myself to push through it and now I can read through pretty much anything. I’ll listen to an entire CD and not hear one song if I’m reading at the same time. Reading is an escape, reading is happiness, reading is love; at least to me anyway!