Read. That is what I am going to do with my summer.

You probably think I’m taking the valedictorian speech too seriously, but after picking up the habit of reading the news, I feel empowered or maybe just knowledgeable.

When I was twelve or thirteen, maybe fourteen and just filled with angst, I had my mother take me to the library at the beginning of the summer. I borrowed loads of books, maybe seven or ten. And when I got home, I just started reading. I read for hours. I lounged on the couch and absorbed these books. When I finished the first one the next morning, I immediately began the next. I kept going, and my mother thought that it was unnatural and unhealthy. Maybe it was. I don’t care. Perhaps it helped seal the fate of my eyes. The reason I wear contacts and glasses, after all, is that when I began reading in elementary school, I didn’t want to stop. I remember in second grade, when we moved to Richmond, that’s all I wanted to do. I would lay on the couch and read. Sit at my desk in school and read. Go to recess and read sometimes (or play kickball, hopscotch, hang-glider, or swing). And goddamn, at that point, I hated writing. It wasn’t until fourth grade, when I wrote an essay about how I got this scar on my forehead, that I began to enjoy writing.

I forget most days about that scar. My bangs cover it, on the left side of my forehead. When I think about it, too, it seems so insignificant. A fact of life that has been present since I was four, and I can’t remember life before it. But it’s a story I’ve never shared with you. And you will not hear it today, either.

Anyway. Yesterday, I went to the library and chose seven books, but they weren’t enough. I want to gobble them up. I know, though, that it will take me at least two weeks to read them all. July 3rd. That’s when they are due. I finished the first last night. Montana 1948 by Larry Watson. Which is an incredible emotional journey that you won’t be able to stop reading until you’re completely finished. Maybe I will make a list of the books I read and want to read this summer. I have missed reading for pleasure, and now that I have the opportunity to do it again, I will take full advantage.

I think that it should be noted that while I am a fast typer even by my peers’ standards (but certainly not by my own), I am an incredibly slow reader. I don’t know this in words per minute or anything, but I know that it takes me maybe a minute or two to read a page. While some people would probably pin this on my stupidity, I like to think that I am absorbing the book better than anyone else is. And it’s probably at least partially true. I tend to remember details better because I am spending a longer time with the words than other people are. When I did Book Bowl in fifth grade, they nicknamed me “Buzzy” because I always got the Bonus Round questions so rapidly, and they were correct. Thus, I would never want to change my habit of reading slowly. I do not want to become a skimmer. I enjoy letting everything season in my brain for a bit.

I haven’t written about music in a good long time, though. I wonder who visits my blog every day, and I just assume that it’s probably random viewers from search engines, mixed in with perhaps five solid readers. Merci, though.

Here’s the thing. Today, I will write about the Wombats, finally.

I borrowed the Wombats from some other music blog, most likely All Things Go. I mean, if they ever did an article on the Wombats. Thing is, while I normally don’t like cymbal-heavy Brit-pop, I love the Wombats. And it’s not like they only have one catchy song that will resonate with a few people. Their music is entirely contagious, universally catchy. It’s everything about it that makes it so great, and it’s one of those bands where every time you listen to the songs, something new will catch your ear. I love that.

Anyway, the Wombats have followed me on many important journeys. On my first trip to New York City, I kept listening to “Moving to New York.” I hated New York but continued to love the song. On my first trip to Bounce Funplex with Ali and Carol, Ali included this on a mix CD and added that I should check out “Backfire at the Disco.” So I did, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Thus, today I present you with the track that Ali so strongly recommended. What’s funny is that such an incredibly successful, serious band spawned out of a grand joke.

The Wombats | Backfire at the Disco
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [direct link]
The Wombats’ Website

Also, guys, I’ve been inspired by Sara and my sister. I’m going to compile a list of songs that I greatly enjoyed when I was maybe fourteen or fifteen and was heavy into pop-punk and I worshiped it. I’ll upload it soon, after I finish Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Et je veux lire des livres en français, mais je ne sais pas où je pourrais les chercher.


7 Comments so far
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At college, all I did was read. Especially during classes when I wasn’t supposed to. The school library doesn’t really have anything except for reference books (but they do have the largest collection of amazing magazines–I sat there for hours reading them) so I would just constantly be buying books and laying in my bed or sitting in the park or cafe reading them. I never felt upset with spending money on books. Not like I do with clothes or groceries. My mother always made sure that I had money for school book fairs. I would apologize for spending so much money on books and she would say, “No matter what, you should always buy books.” It’s like this quote that’s painted on the wall at Borders, that is something along the lines of, “When I have money, I buy books. If I have any left over, I buy food.”

Also, I think you left your CDs in my car. I’m going to make copies of them and then get them back to you. We need to get together so you can tell me who all the artists are!

Comment by wellwell

I would do the exact same thing you did. I think the librarian was shocked I could carry so many books to check them all out, but that’s besides the point.
I would read and read and read, and when I had finished the ones I had checked out I would make my mom take me back and begin all over again. It got to the point that I’d read the entire ‘young adult’ section of the library and had to look elsewhere for something to read. So I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one with that habit.

So here’s to summer and constant reading. :]

Comment by swaziprincess

How can you hate New York?

Comment by asdfjkl;

Maybe I should mention specifically where I went and why I was there.

We went to Europa Cafe for lunch and then to the Hilton Theatre to see Young Frankenstein with the school. I’m not gonna lie. I am not a fan of musicals. I enjoyed Young Frankenstein, yes, but I don’t think I appreciated it as much as most of the other people in the audience did. Basically, I was on board to experience the city, but I didn’t get to experience it except when I looked out the bus windows. And when I did, I was mesmerized and almost overwhelmed by all of the people, most of whom are beautiful in some way. I wanted to be outside the bus, walking on the streets with friends, not trapped in a rolling box with a toilet and a bunch of administrators who wanted to make it crystal clear that we were “not from here.”

The more I think about it, the more situational it seems. Because really, when I went to the Philadelphia zoo and the Washington DC zoo with my parents as a child, it always seemed so boring and touristy, but when I recently went to Philly, I had an amazing time on South Street, and DC was a blast to frolic through when I went to visit the art museum this spring. Maybe I should give it another shot with someone who knows what they’re talking about? I reallyreallyreallyreallyreally want to go to Siren Music Festival this year, too, which would sort-of get me in the area (I don’t know New York at all), but dayumn, it seems unlikely seeing as:
1. I have no car
2. My college orientation is on July 15th, six hours away from my home (which would mean about ten hours away from New York City, and I don’t know how far that is from Coney Island)

Anyway, that was probably a longer answer than you needed. All I really needed to say is probably that the people were rough and rude, but I suppose they will be in any tourist-ridden area because they see people just like you every day. Well, not you. Me. But I felt I owed you an explanation.

Comment by indiechouette

I do read this on a regular basis, but don’t always comment, because I am a shy panda. I always enjoy it, though. I, too, was a very bookish child, and can relate, though for the past two years I have worked in the library where I spent so many hours as a child, which is strange.

Comment by Kate

Yeah, no city is very nice when you go with a “touristy” group.

Comment by asdfjkl;

PAIGE! I, too, dislike New York, but I have only been to Times Square. I would love to just roam around. My friend from school is from New York City, and when I went a few months ago, she told me all these cool places that I should go. But the person I was with didn’t want to ride the subway (“It’s creepy!”) or take a cab (“They’re dirty!”) and it was much too far to walk.

South Street was very fun! I really liked it there. I have a new appreciation for Philadelphia.

Anyway, the one thing I wanted to say here was that the comment you left on your sister’s picture of graffiti showed up on my mini-feed just now. AND I SO KNOW WHO DID IT! At least the tasteful one, but the stick-figure. But I didn’t want to randomly leave this person’s name in a Facebook comment, or even a WordPress comment. So yes, IM me sometime and we shall figure that out. Or text me, but your status said you lost numbers in the brand-spankin’-new phone of yours, so here’s mine: 490 0683.

Have a lovely evening.

Comment by wellwell

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