Manifesto

I’m a twenty year old history major at Colby College. I’ve read intermittently throughout most of my life, but I’ve only been passionate about it for the past few years. At four or five I grew jealous of my parents’ ability to read. I wanted to be on that level; I wanted to understand the world around me, the sooner the better. I learned quickly. Once I grew bored of ‘See Spot Run,’ I moved onto novels. My dad used to read a lot Roald Dahl books to me, so it makes sense that when I first deigned to pick up a book for myself, it was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I began participating in those Pizza Hut reading competitions, taking great pride in constantly winning. I was a smug little kid.

I read more in elementary and middle school than I did in high school, when my interest inexplicably fell. I enjoyed the usual torrent of adolescent worries, ignoring literature’s mountain of unread brilliance. I did some assigned reading, and occasionally I’d pick up a book for pleasure, but that was rare. This changed in college, when I realized guiltily that I’d never read many of the books given to me by my brother. I corrected this by burning through reads like Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union and Saïd Sayrafiezadeh’s When Skateboards Will be Free. The floodgates were open.

Over the past few years, my passion for reading has escalated to the point where I wonder why I’ve taken so few English courses. I’ve tried to be inclusive in my reading habits, going between literary and genre fiction, recognizing that each has artistic merit. I spend a lot of time reading and thinking about what I’m reading. I even dabble in fiction writing. I’m starting this blog in order to apply some discipline to my engagement with literature, to force myself to structure and articulate my thoughts. In writing reviews, I want to combine some degree of analysis with my own personal engagement with a work. Besides reviews, I hope to offer commentary on other literature related topics. Because I’m also somewhat of a film geek/snob, I don’t intent to limit myself to writing about the written word; film reviews may pop up occasionally. For the time being, I don’t intend to use ratings, because I have trouble distilling a book’s quality down to a number. This might change.

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One Response to “Manifesto”

  1. Francine Cantor Says:

    Great to see Nick revealed. Your review saves me from reading a book that I probably wouldn’t like. So thanks. Write on…

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