Friday, February 5, 2010

alien reader


There's probably a name for people who have a fear of books, but I don't know what it is. I just know I suffer from it to a degree. I'm always afraid I'll open a book and not understand a single word. I'm afraid of being lost and feeling stupid. I wish I knew where this fear came from. Maybe it's from some homework/school trauma I've blocked out. I grew up never reading books for pleasure because I didn't want to feel like a dumb little alien in a world of big words I couldn't understand. I stuck mostly to Mad magazine and cartoon anthologies. Horror fiction of the 70's and 80's helped me make friends with books again because I still loved a good scare and wasn't allowed to watch scary movies. Jay Anson's The Amityville Horror and all of Stephen King's early work helped me realize I wasn't stupid or illiterate after all. Still -- the fear has never completely left me.
I dread starting new books even though I know there's a good chance I'll love them once I get into them. Perhaps this is another reason I'm an avid re-reader. There are a handful of novels I've reread twenty times and Just in Case is one of them. I picked it up from a discount rack at Walden's and bought it mainly because it has a greyhound on the cover and because of the blurb describing it as a 'modern day Catcher in the Rye'. It's a beautiful, weird and genius piece of fiction that I can't recommend highly enough. You can probably find it pretty cheap online. Please try and get your very own copy and then never let it go.

6 comments:

Indigo said...

Wrote it down to check it out. I've always been a voracious reader. I think that has more to do with growing up in a home where big words weren't allowed. Could be why I love to write. (Hugs)Indigo

Debra said...

bibliophobic, you. bibliophile, me. bibliotek, library. bibliotech, library geek o'software.

thus concludes our lesson for the day, grins, debra

{ps. king rules!}

Chris said...

Have you ever read "Geek Love" ? Awesome, check it out.

http://www.amazon.com/Geek-Love-Novel-Katherine-Dunn/dp/0375713344

I need to dig my copy up and re-read it. Very twisted.

Chef E said...

Okay, I came way down to say one more thing, Duh, I follow you man, not sure how I found your site though...

I must have been over whelmed with laughter from the cute drawings...

I remember reading this post, and meant to say something...I know what you mean about not understanding what you might read, but I try any way. My father read, like his father, but our mothers did not. Now I write poetry, flash fiction, and read as much as I can.

almost 50 but not quite said...

Just ordered it from the library. Let me know when you're ready for "Extremely Loud."

Big Mark 243 said...

I am going to put this and the not quite 50 cat's 'Extremely Loud' as well.