Though riddled with final exams, final papers and an inability to explain to my mother why I had ten times as much stuff in my room as I did at the beginning of the year, I could only think of one thing as April came to an end: summer vacation.
I was so excited to get away from Tech classes and the ever-growing tumor that is Tech construction. I was ready to sleep in, catch up with old high school friends, take road trips and partake in ordinary summer sins and debauchery.
Unfortunately I only had a week to complete my summer to-do list since I, like so many others, had decided to take summer classes because I wanted to do the unheard of and “graduate on time.”
While summer is supposed to be a time of fun and relaxation, it seems as though I will no longer have the pleasure of just sitting around for three entire months doing nothing.
And although I will be studying physics and writing editorials all summer long, I was determined to find something to do that made me happy.
That something came in the form of a friend who started reading Harry Potter for the first time.
Now before you decide to put the paper down or skip to another article, let me assure you that I am not going to go on an excited rant about how much I love Harry Potter, how everyone should read it and how J.K. Rowling is the greatest author in the world.
I’ll leave that for another editorial. Although I will admit that I did go to the midnight release parties for the last three books. I did not, however, dress up.
But seeing someone read a book that I love made me smile like a goofball and get those butterflies in my stomach. I had forgotten the excited feeling that I got when I read a good book.
I had forgotten the feeling of staying up late at night to read a book because I just couldn’t put it down. I remembered how as a young child I found it so exciting to stay up past my curfew with a flashlight in hand because I had to finish just one more chapter.
The infamous summer reading we had to do in middle and high school never made me groan. I never saw it as schoolwork I had to do over the summer but as a chance to expand my reading horizon. Reading allowed me to “broaden my mind” in the words of Professor Trelawney.
Each year I excitedly awaited the new list of books I would be required to read, and each year I read them all within the first month of summer. Sometimes I would read more books than I had to, just because I couldn’t decide which to choose.
Sure, I was ticked off when they took Pride and Prejudice off the summer reading list my senior year, but seeing as how I had already the book I was later content when I instead followed the tale of Tess in Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
Call me crazy, nerd, bookworm or whatever you like, but I absolutely adore reading and feel as if Tech students especially find reading for leisure unthinkable.
With all the classes and assignments that are currently piled on our workload, who would think to waste their precious free time doing more reading? I know what you’re thinking. “I’d rather be drinking.”
But there may be a few lost souls at Tech, as I once was, who need to be reminded of how much they enjoyed curling up with a book in their hands, and I hope this reaches you.
I hope you find that good book with the unpredictable, character-driven plot, filled with the various motifs and literary devices we so painstakingly searched for in AP Literature.
For those of you who are rolling your eyes at the moment, know that it doesn’t necessarily have to be raining outside, and you don’t need to be next to a warm fire wrapped in a blanket with hot chocolate in your hand to have the right reading atmosphere.
And the benefit of reading for pleasure is that you don’t have to analyze the book once you’re done. You can just pick up another and the cycle continues, this time in a completely different world with new characters and conflicts.
So take advantage of the nicer days of summer in Atlanta and curl up with a book. Find a good tree, if you want to keep out of the sun, or work on your tan while you read. Meet me with a book in your hand. I’ll be wearing my “reading is sexy” shirt.