I began this blog and this reading challenge with the intention of really pushing myself to stick to my commitments and to stretch my limitations. I foolishly thought I would read a book in a week and write a blog about it. This would have started out wonderfully if I had not chosen a 600 page classic novel as my first assignment.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely loving Jane Eyre. I started reading it when I was 16 and never quite got into it, so almost a decade later it’s nice to have a different perspective to which I can better appreciate it. Even as a child Jane Eyre is 100% relatable. Her thoughts and insecurities are thoughts and insecurities that I have personally experienced, not just as a child but as an adult as well. As an adult her feminist inclinations are ones that I hold, myself. So far, this has been my favorite and most unexpected passage:
“It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility; they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a constraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”
I’ve struggled greatly with finding the time to read regularly. This used to be easy. I’d spend a Saturday off shut up in my room reading a good book from the moment I was awake until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. Emerging every so often for a glass of water or a sandwich. But that was the leisure of a lonely girl without much responsibility. I say lonely not to make anyone feel sorry for me, but because it was the truth. In my loneliness I found comfort in books. As an adult, I’m not nearly as lonely, but I have plenty of responsibilities. Days off are consumed with laundry and house cleaning, going to the grocery store, giving the dog a bath, and doing the dishes. Those are the things I do when I’m alone. When my boyfriend or my sister are home I don’t want to shut them out by diving into my books so I spend time with them: watching a movie or tv show, playing a game, cooking dinner together. And before I know it my day off is over. Full of things that need to be completed and the joy of being with my family, but still over. Never once taking a chance to slip away into my alternate world of literature.
I only request that you be patient with me. I’m enjoying when I do happen to get a chance to read and I’m already making a lot of progress from last year, but it is still a long road ahead. It is my hope to be complete with Jane Eyre by next weekend. This will mark a month since I began my reading challenge and hopefully I can soon mark one down.