Who am I, anyway?
When I started college, I was a literature major. I spent many hours in high school studying the classics, and had every intention to continue to do so for the rest of my life. I enjoyed discovering the layers of meaning and exposure to new ways of thinking that books provided. My loftiest goals included making a living as a writer or a starving mixed-media artist. I planned on owning no more than I could fit into an old pickup truck. I dreamed about keeping a black-and-tan coonhound for company and traveling to places like Ireland and France.
It is now a couple of decades later.
I fell in love with and got married to an amazing woman whom I can’t imagine life without. We have lived in four different houses in two different states. I have graduated three times with science degrees. I fell out of the habit of reading as a hobby while studying for school, but in 2019, I returned what my wife R’Chel lovingly calls my “dusty old books”. (Eg. Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Hugo)
Quite appropriately, it started with Moby Dick. If I had spent my youth in pursuit of the white whale of what I planned my life was going to be, then I doubt it would be so rich with the love, wisdom, and gratitude I have now.
I like books that make me think. My reading list is a mixture of classical literature, modern fiction, and horror. I like to read Pulitzer Prize winners and see if I can determine why they won. I enjoy identifying symbols and getting a feel for what I think the author was trying to say.
Travel is still something I value, though books have taken me farther than I have ever physically been. In this way, I’ve been to Ireland and France, but also Russia, and Brooklyn.
What I bring to the books I read is living as an Air-Force brat, though I was never in the military myself. I had a traumatic childhood which I experienced with a single older brother. I’ve lived near both the East and West coasts, though have never made it out of the U.S.A. passed Tijuana. I have known clinical depression. I have experienced the loss of family and religion. I know what it’s like to have to rebuild.
I do not regret abandoning my literature degree. I wouldn’t have understood Nikolai Rostov’s character quite so well from War and Peace if I had never lived as a farmer. I would not have understood the thrill of being On the Road if not for the sojourns between Maryland and Oregon with R’Chel.
Someday, I would like to compile everything I’ve learned about storytelling and write a novel of my own. In the meanwhile, would you join me in this bibliophiles’ journey in the adoration of books?