Burgeoning bookworm

While I splurged for my unofficial Halloween weekend, going to two drag shows at ten bucks a pop (not including the countless singles I passed out to the queens I was particularly impressed with), I’m not going to persuade you to duplicate my weekend because, frankly, I’ve already done my drag spiel and despite the grandeur of it all, it just may not be your thing.

So yes. I did very little besides drool over drag queens this weekend. When I did find myself with a spare moment, though, I ended up exploring one of the many resale shops we have in the area.

Shopping is a passion of mine. My lack of a job (and thus, finances) and my interest in fashion combine to create the unstoppable force that is an addiction to thrifting. It drives me to some of the sketchiest locations in pursuit of that elusive “best find,” that two dollar article of clothing that bears more similarities to a priceless work of art. What I have recently discovered, however, is that some of my recent best finds have not been clothing, but instead, books.

With a price tag of 70 cents for a paperback and a dollar for a hardcover, nearly any piece of literature you eenie meenie miney moe yourself into inspecting is a steal, with the exception of some of the more evangelistic books or amateur how-to guides. I recently spotted a copy of “Parenting Your Adopted Child” and couldn’t bring myself to pick it up because it was just so frighteningly relevant to my life.

In all seriousness, there are some excellent pieces of literature to be picked up at any Goodwill. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t read nearly as much as I should. But with such a variety of genres and such affordable prices, thrifted novels could perhaps be the saving grace of a generation lost to digital culture.

In my last trip to the brand-spankin’-new Mid Rivers Goodwill, I picked up the first four Harry Potter novels for 30 cents apiece; the screenplays of Trainspotting and Pulp Fiction, the latter being one of my favorite films; two Barnes & Noble Classics and fantastic literary masterpieces (Paradise Lost and Leaves of Grass); “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell, author of several excellent nonfiction works concerning sociology and psychology; and several other books which I seem to have already misplaced. Not a surprise.

What the emergence of this accessible source of literature means is that we have to start reading. I doubt that I am the only student at FHC that hasn’t read many books besides the ones required for English class, and even then, how many of those did I actually read further than the summary on Sparknotes.com?

It is ridiculous how many books there are in the world. It honestly blows my mind. Even just stepping into the library curses me with a slight depression due to the fact that there are so many books to be read and such an infinitesimal amount of time in which to read them all. And you really can’t read all of them – every single book ever written in every language – even if you made an honest effort. Sorry if that’s your life goal, but I might as well save you a significant amount of time and effort. You’re welcome.

The point I’m trying to make here is that there are way too many good books to just read none of them. There is a reason writers keep writing, readers keep reading, and bookstores stay in business. Not only are there tried and true classics that retain their relevance decades after their publication, but a changing society prompts the exploration of new genres and new ideas.

My personal struggle is getting started. I don’t even know where to begin. There are so many options to explore. I just need someone to point me in the right direction.

Luckily, the bookworms of FHC are easily identifiable, mostly by the simple fact that they’ve always got their heads stooped over a book with two or three other novels stored under their desks.

I asked senior and avid reader Stephanie Rhea what her recommendations would be to anyone looking to begin their own literary adventure.

“Well, the books that got me starting to read were Harry Potter. That was really the first time I really started to love to read. From then, I moved on to books like Percy Jackson, Pendragon, basically any fantasy series. That, to me at least, seems to keep my attention the most,” said Rhea.

I also spoke to senior Kevin Jones about what books he’s been into recently.

“I’m currently diggin’ H.P. Lovecraft; he wrote short stories that were of the horror genre, most notably ‘The Call of Cthulhu.’ Oh, and ‘A Clockwork Orange’ is probably my favorite book, and I think a lot of teenagers could get enjoyment from it,” noted Jones. He also enjoyed ‘The Lord of the Rings’ series, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ and ‘The Fault In Our Stars.’

Looks like I’ll be spending some time scouring the Goodwill bookshelves.



Did they miss your favorite book? Shoot me an e-mail at [email protected]; I am always open to your recommendations and feedback! Thanks for reading, keep it up.