I love memes. They’re especially helpful for someone like me who has a difficult time coming up with cool, original ideas for a post but still wants to have content on my blog for people to read. I had actually not heard of this meme, until I saw it on Dominique’s blog over at Pirates and Pixie Dust, whose blog you should totally check out.
Classic Fridays was a meme created by Team Gray for the BBCP (Book Blogger Creativity Project). This is my first time doing this, so hopefully you guys like it. For more information on joining Classic Fridays, you can find information here.
This week, the Classic Fridays topic is “Back to School.”
How many books do you read per month during the school year?
It really depends. I’m an English major, so I read a lot of novels for a lot of my classes and since that’s an average of five books a class and I take four classes a semester for two semesters, that’s about 40 books in a school year. Of course, I try to read as much as I can outside of school stuff, which has gotten a lot easier since I started working at the library and was able to read there. I’d say that I read on average 6 books a month for classes, 2 books for myself. Kind of, sort of. The math fell through.
Do you usually enjoy reading books assigned by your school?
Honestly, it depends on the class. In high school, I pretty much hated every single thing we read for classes. I got no enjoyment from required reading. College is a little bit different. Depending on the class, we read different books, so I might enjoy certain books for a class, like my Aesthetics of Waste class last year but not really like reading Dickens and his contemporaries in my Victorian Visual Culture class (although I did really enjoy the class and wrote one of my best papers for it). So, I guess it really depends.
What has been your favorite assigned read?
In high school, the best book I remember being assigned and loving was probably Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I also liked The Great Gatsby and even enjoyed The Catcher in the Rye. We also read The Glass Castle in my 10th grade English class and I loved that one too. In college, I think that my favorite assigned reading books have been Lynda Barry’s One! Hundred! Demons!, White Noise by Don DeLillo, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami, and The Lover by Marguerite Duras.
Which required read was the hardest to get through and why?
The hardest required reading for me to get through in school was probably Charles Dickens’ Bleak House. I did really try to get through that one but I couldn’t. Out of all the recent books I’ve read for a class, that one was probably the worst. Also, The Consolation on Philosophy wasn’t the easiest thing to read through either.
Were they always classic novels or also recent books?
In high school, pretty much everything that we read for English class was a “classic” novel, usually written by an old white man, but sometimes written by white women. There wasn’t a lot of diversity in the curriculum and so I think that was a huge factor in the fact that I never enjoyed too much of my required reading because I couldn’t really relate to it. In college, because the classes are more diverse and aren’t just “English” classes, I’ve read a lot more recent books, which I think means that I’ve read a lot more diverse books.
Which books do you wish your school would mark as “required reading” and why?
I wish that required reading in high school was more diverse. There were lots of books written by black authors, women and LGBTQ+ authors that I didn’t get to read until I went to college and probably would have never read them if not for my classes. I feel like it’d be beneficial for kids in high school to read different viewpoints and learn to empathize a bit more before they go off into college and then into the real world.
What is one book that you had to read for school?
In high school, I read the standard required reading, some of which I mentioned above, like The Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye. I guess more recently, I had to read all of Persepolis for a Graphic Narrative class I took my sophomore year of college.
What genre was it in? Is it something that you normally read?
It’s a graphic novel/autobiography. I do read a lot of graphic novels normally because I enjoy them, but I wouldn’t say that any of them are really like Persepolis, especially since most of the ones I read are sci-fi/fantasy or involve superheroes. Persepolis was not that at all.
Would you have picked up this book by yourself?
I’m not sure, to be honest. I guess I could say probably not. Like I said, I think of graphic novels as more of a light-hearted genre and Persepolis wasn’t really light-hearted. If someone had recommended it to me, I might have read it, but I don’t know if I ever would have picked it up by myself.
What activities did your class do with this book?
Standard discussions and such in the class. We also wrote a mini-paper and could choose to write about it in our longer essays if we wanted to.
What are your feelings on required reading? What were your most/least favorite required reading books in school?