The Tales of a Young Teacher

The tales of a young teacher - Summer reading, It happened so fast  

Every time school´s out for summer I hit a six week slump in my life. No matter how I bitch and moan throughout the schoolyear that I could really use a break, the moment it arrives I never really know what to do with myself.

I work 5 days a week and I spent about 8 to 10 hours of my day at my job. When I come home I have a pretty solid routine; cook dinner, eat dinner, prepare for classes/go to gym (depending on the day), take a shower, go to bed, get up and go to work. In the weekends I might add a thrilling bout of laundry to the mix or if I’m really feeling adventurous I read a book or meet up with some friends. All in all my life, though not solely revolving around my job, is definitely thoroughly shaped by it.

So when summer arrives I spend two blissful days in my PJ’s, trying to sleep in (which never works) and then I try to cram in as many activities as I can. Because otherwise I’d never survive those six weeks. This year I’ve chosen to dive into my comprehensive book collection and start reading books that I’ve never read before. For clarity I’ve added a picture of my mini library to this post, and as you can see, it’s nothing to scoff at. Unfortunately I’ve read maybe, 20 percent of all the books in it, for I have a bit of a book buying addiction; for some people it’s shoes, for others figurines and for me it’s most definitely books. The only problem is that I buy books faster than I can read them and therefore they often end up on one of my shelves, never to be touched again. So this summer, instead of buying new books, I decided to read the ones I already own. I’ve been doing this for a week now and my conclusion up till now is that I have a damned good taste in books.

So far I’ve read four, which I swear is the truth and not an exaggeration or an attempt at a sad nerd brag. I read pretty fast because school taught me to scan and skim. And that’s exactly how I read my books. I can read a story 6 times and still find new information, because I just don’t read as thoroughly as I should. I’ve tried taking my time to read slower, and it usually happens naturally if a story is really moving or intense, but most of the time I just glide through it. But back to the point: one week, four books = complete awesomeness. See the titles below, all of them definite recommendations!

The hundred-year-old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The book thief by Markus Zusak

The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir

The Inexplicable logic of my life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Four completely different stories and yet all of them captivating from the very first page. And that ladies and gentlemen is why I love reading. Because a good book can transport you to another time and place, it can make you laugh or cry, can make you think about things you’ve never thought before or make you forget about anything else. A good story is priceless and teaches you so many things; about history and relationships, society and politics, about yourself, but also about others. It can show you that you are not alone and let you know that some experiences are universal. In short; good books, add something to your life, make it better, better yet they enrich us and I can honestly say that without books my life wouldn’t be the same.

For me reading has always been an escape, which started when I was young and socially awkward and continued as I grew older and well, less socially awkward. I used books to escape a life wherein I didn’t always get along with my family, where I was bullied by my classmates and where I, no matter how hard I tried never really quite fit in. As I grew up and life became a little easier, for I now had friends which eases the burdens of life considerably, I still used books as a means to escape. But now it wasn’t necessarily because I was unhappy, but just because I longed for some peace and quiet or simply a change of scenery. It’s a running joke in my family that ‘one does not try to speak to Rianne when she is reading’. Because honestly there is no point, when I read I’m not actually in the room and therefore won’t hear a word you say.

Nowadays I read books because they remind me of all the good in the world. Good that we seldom see or hear about anymore. Because let’s be honest people, right now the world and our society as a whole kind of sucks. So much pain and suffering, so much discontent and fear. Living in our world is not very fun and one could consider for how long we, and I’m talking about the entire human race here, can keep this up. The earth is slowly dying (and not a lot of people seem to give a crap), Nationalism is on the rise again (which, history shows, is NEVER a good thing), people are starving or dying of dehydration (even though it’s the 21st fricking century). It seems to me that no matter how many steps forward we take, we never actually end up in a better place and more problems just keep piling up. And to be fair I will readily admit I’m a coward and a hypocrite, for I don’t like to take part in political discussions, tend to stick my head in the sand and still have an entire collection of plastic bags stashed in a cupboard (which is only growing cause I never re-use the damn things)

Yeah, I’m definitely a part of the problem. Partly because I never really know where to start making changes and partly because 99% of the time the everyday problems of life tend to keep me pretty busy. Making sure I can pay my mortgage and my healthcare, performing adequately at my job so they don’t fire my ass. Helping out friends and family where needed. You know, those fun day to day kind of things. I used to read books in order to not feel as isolated, to find friends in the countless written pages. Now I read in order to be inspired , so that when I reach the end of the week, hanging on to my sanity with only my fingertips, feeling depressed and tired, I just open a book and hope. For when I start reading I hope that this next story will be as wonderful as the last one; I wonder what this book will have to teach me; and I imagine that one day I will be just like the people in my stories, and that I’ll find the energy, the courage and the will to make the changes I should and inspire others to start making them as well.

Even though it hasn’t happened yet, it might. Who really knows in the end? Surely strangers things have happened. For now I’ll just continue to read, wonder, hope and imagine, because what else is there to do in those 6 long summer weeks?