A Certain Trivial Confession

This year, I didn’t finish a single book.

I have three semesters worth of excuses regarding this but I am not going to bring up too many, nor am I going write about the thousand lines of regrets I never had. If anything, I am merely amazed, the emotionally neutral kind.

For 15 years I considered myself a reader and a staunch advocate of reading habits. Every time when inquired about hobbies I would reflexively respond “Reading”, I would habitually find myself carrying reading material around even when not at my study area just to keep my mind occupied, I rank reading as the most important habit of a psychology student. To add on that this year I brought about 8-9 new books: 2 Michio Kaku’s futurism series, one Carl Sagan, one Stephen Hawking, The God Delusion, The Story of Philosophy, and a couple more.   

In fact, one of the first few things I ask during introductions are the kind of books one read. Why?

Words may lie, but one’s character can be shed light on through knowing the books they read and how they feel towards them.  

And apparently I have no character at all.

I used to read a lot and deeply, but not write, not engage in the process of creating things that last. Now I find myself writing a lot, trying to leave pieces of writings as my mark of achievement, but not read, thus my words becoming hollow and shallow.

Its almost the time for new year resolutions, and retrospectively I am glad that I have made none in relation to number of books to read.  Technically though, I did read a lot more. Articles, academic journals, textbooks, chinese e-book novels (the level-up-seek-immortality-get-weapons-and-chicks-while-kicking-ass-along-the-way kind). But actual book reading didn’t even happen much. I might have started on a few but didn’t finish any. 

And this year is slipping away steadily to its end.

I still have about two weeks to finish one, and maybe I can finish Cloud Atlas, or save it for next year where I can casually talk about my feat of not finishing books for a year. Leaning towards the former at the moment though. There is this Chinese saying about how people who don’t read will look ugly and hated by others.

After that rough semester, I am really feeling the hate for myself already. I can perhaps still salvage myself.


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