One of the best things about reading books is that you can read about different perspectives and life experiences other than your own. Sometimes these other lives are much more exciting and interesting, making you want to have the same life as the people you’re reading about. Other times, the lives are interesting, but not necessarily lives that you yourself would like to live. In a way, reading diverse books can make a person more open minded.
A lot of the time, I don’t mind reading diverse books. But most of the time, I get stuck into my comfort zone and continually read books that I enjoy. Granted, I do change genres every few books because I get bored reading the same genre over and over again, but you can usually predict the type of books I like to pick up. When I become aware of it, I try to consciously pick a book that I wouldn’t have picked otherwise.
This summer, I decided to read Roots by Alex Haley. I normally enjoy reading about the Civil War and slavery in general, but for whatever reason, I didn’t want to read this one. As I mentioned before in a previous post, the book is huge and I tend to shy away from huge books. When I heard about a new film interpretation of the book, I finally decided to pick myself up a copy of the book from the library. This book took me about two months to read and several times I wanted to quit. But I didn’t and I’m so glad I did. It wasn’t a happy book and there were times when the protagonists were annoying, but it made me see what slavery was like from the very beginning when a man was abducted from his village and made to work on a plantation in a foreign land. I’m used to reading about slaves several generations after they’d been in America, not when they first came to it.
Not only that, I finished a book close to 1,000 pages. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that. To be able to finish a book that I’ve been meaning to read for several years. In this case, I think my persistence paid off even when I didn’t want to.