Read What You Want

by Randy Murray on February 13, 2013

Read what you want. Read anything. Read comic books (and graphic novels). Read steamy romances and bodice rippers. Read all the forms of science fiction. Read fantasy books and swords and sorcery epic sagas to your heart’s content. Read mysteries, thrillers, ghost stories, and blood-dripping horror. Read the funny stuff, the serious stuff, the puzzling and mysterious.

Even read “serious” literature, if you must.

Just read.

Here’s the thing that most people forget: if you are not in a program of formal education with detailed assignments, you can read whatever you want.

I read what interests me. I feel no guilt for reading a science fiction novel and following it up by reading Don Quixote. I’ll read the latest The Walking Dead comic (ongoing graphic novel, if you will), then turn my attention to Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I’ll read, again, the excellent Barbara Tuchman histories and then read whatever the hell I want.

That’s part of the pleasures of adulthood. I am not required to read anything. And because of that I can read EVERYTHING.

You may have been damaged by your education and find some of the classics of literature distasteful and uninteresting. I recommend trying to withhold that judgement. Wipe the slate clean. Be open to the possibilities that these works may actually be interesting and fun. Vanity Fair is a hoot. War and Peace is thrilling. Farewell To Arms is heartbreaking. Three Men in A Boat (to say nothing of the dog) may be the funniest thing ever written.

But don’t take my word for it. Read what you want, when you want.

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