Sunday, August 7, 2011

Miles of Books

It was the end of my freshman year, and I was about to collapse under the stress of finals, papers, projects and extra curriculars. Despite the fact that I had probably consumed over 30 books within the past 10 months, I felt deprived of literature. The textbooks, philosophy books and lab manuals did not come close to the intriguing novels I would pick up in bulk from the closest Barnes & Noble or Borders (Rest In Peace).
It was in this distress that I chose to reward myself after my last final with a Barnes & Noble trip, knowing I would have all summer to devour books of my liking.

In exhaustion, I instantly picked up books whose titles jumped out at me. Among these were The Omnivore's Dilemma (Michael Pollan), The Red Queen (Phillipa Gregory - who also wrote The Other Boleyn Girl) and The Blue Sweater (Jacqueline Novogratz). The Omnivore's Dilemma gave me a great insight into the food industry as it currently stands, and the mistakes American's are making about being an observer to their food production (even though he doesn't outwardly say it). I just recently finished The Blue Sweater, which is a look into Novogratiz's global experience to erradicate poverty by helping one potential business person at a time.
She also introduces the Acumen Fund, (of which she is the CEO) which appears to be filled with highly intelligent and driven people who want to make a serious impact on global poverty. You can find more information about her organization here ( and the fellowships that the fund offers to young adults who want to be a part of change. I will definitely reevaluate if this program is right for me after (hopefully) getting my MBA.

While I still have a backpack full of books to read before school starts, it does not surprise me that I continued to pick up books at different opportunities, exponentially increasing my unread pile. In Costco, I picked up Sarah's Key by de Rosnay, and a songbird yellow novel titled, India. My passion to devour books is unfortunately much greater than the speed at which I read. I came home today with Food Rules by Michael Pollan, and two Austin books, Persuasion and Mansfield Park (inspired by my desire to reread P&P and S&S). I should get a better handle on the books I have already purchased, but I cannot stop searching for literature that evokes the same sort of imagery and passion as books such as the Harry Potter series, all the way to The Catcher and the Rye, did. As a child, I remember getting lost in books, and being genuinely disappointed when the bell rang and I realized I had not actually raised a wand in class, futhermore, that I would most certainly not be riding a broomstick home (I think many of us felt this).

It was this passion of mine that I recognized and respected in other people. I often found myself staring at the bookkeeper while I was checking out and muttering, "I should definitely marry a book store owner," as he looked over his glasses to point the woman who requested a book I've never heard of to the 7th isle, second self, on the right.
If that's not passion I don't know what is. Despite the fact he may be a little socially awkward, he would be extremely knowledgeable, and I bet would have a great store discount.

It is also during this time, as I am getting ready to go back to school, I am resolving to change the way I do things in school to extract more pleasure from the minimal free time I have. Visiting a famous used book store, The Strand, and reading more pleasure books will definitely be on my list of things to do. And hopefully keep me sane from the stress September will be sure to bring. I may even get that pile down to less than 10 books.

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