I've always been an avid reader. I was the stereotypical bookworm child who spent all summer working my way through novels and magazines and newspapers. I attained the highest possible grade in my final English exam without too much effort. I even continued studying literature for the first year of university until psychology claimed my full focus. I maintain that the extra twenty five pounds of fat that I carried throughout my teenage years were a result of Friday evening trips to the library and the ensuing night spent curled up in bed pigging out on prawn and cocktail Walkers and Skittles and multiple chocolate bars and oh my god, let's not even mention the sheer volume of food that I would eat while making my way through books by Jenny Downham and J.D. Salinger and, yes, even Stephenie Meyer.
Since starting university, however, I feel like I've hit a roadblock with my reading and don't have the same desire that I did to consume new books and spend every spare moment that I have reading. I understand why I feel like this during the academic year when I'm drowning in recommended reading for my courses and studying so much that the thought of picking up a novel after fourteen hours in the library is painful. But even now, during the summer, I feel more drawn towards old books that I read throughout my childhood or easy, lighter reads like the House Of Night series and The Princess Diaries and Tina Fey's Bossypants. It's not that these aren't good books, they are all engaging and well written and interesting (well, maybe not all of them - the House Of Night books are definitely a guilty pleasure), the problem is that I've read them all multiple times already and falling back on these old favourites stops me pursuing the classics and big new bestsellers that I feel I should as someone who purports to love literature.
It might just be laziness, and the desire for something that reminds me of home when I'm so close to leaving everyone I know for life in a different country, but I want to get out of this habit and push myself more. I have consistently read new books this year but I would say that equally, or even more often than not, I've picked out a book that I've already read. In the past month I've used the university library more and read The Jane Austen Book Club, Female Chauvinist Pigs, Full Frontal Feminism, Never Let Me Go and some others that have all really impressed me. I'm currently reading Sense And Sensibility (I consider it a deep personal flaw that I still haven't read all of Jane Austen) and The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. It's just about pushing myself out of my comfort zone and reading more of the books that I've heard great things about instead of letting myself pick up my many-thumbed copy of Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets for the eight thousandth time. I'm hoping that by writing it here I'll be inspired to actually stick to this plan because I know that I'm missing so much by constantly rereading instead of discovering new books.