Sonntag, 30. Dezember 2012

Changes and Enthusiasm

As all of you currently reading this will probably have noticed, I have finally managed to upload a background image. Doesn't sound like a big deal, right? Except that it took me three whole days, various visits on nerdy IT-websites and several nervous breakdowns to make it work. And they say we're the computer generation...
Anyway, I am brimming over with enthusiasm right now, so I'll seize the opportunity to announce a few changes and plans for 2013. After all, it already is almost New Year's Eve.

A little early, but still: Happy new year!
Like probably every other devoted reader during the last few years and especially now that they are becoming so mainstream I have given a little thought to e-readers. The idea of carrying around as many books as you want to and never lack space on your shelves again is an intriguing one, but in the end I am just a little too old-fashioned to decide on giving up all tangible books for a mere gadget. Thankfully this decision was made for me since I received a Kindle for Christmas! I'm still in the testing phase, but so far I'm -unexpectedly- loving Atticus (yes, I've already named him: which name could be more appropriate than that of book-loving wonderful Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird?). 
The first e-book I've downloaded is Jude Morgan's fictionalised biography of the Brontë family, The Taste of Sorrow. It is very interesting, but I'm anxious to finish it before tomorrow night because I don't want to start 2013 with a half-read book. It is silly, but for me it just feels better to start a new year with a new book.
Which brings me to my developing reading plans! I love making plans and participating in reading challenges, and I am especially excited since I had to cancel all my challenges this year because of my abrupt hiatus.

The amazing Narrative Poem Reading Challenge is hosted over at Half-Hilled Attic. I plan on finally reading Dante's Purgatorio and Paradiso after loving Inferno so much. Additionally I feel as if it was about time I finally tackled Homer, so I will probably give him a try, as well as Edmund Spenser's The Faery Queene which I'm really curious about. And of course Paradise Lost, which I've wanted to read for years but somehow never did.

Another challenge which comes exactly at the right time is the Books on France Reading Challenge. Usually I am horribly neglecting French literature (and my poor French), but this is the chance to change that. I will probably be aiming for the level "beaucoup", meaning that I will read 6 French books, so one every two months, but it will take me a little longer to decide on the titles.

And my for the moment last challenge will be the Wishlist Challenge from Uniflame Creates. This one is especially fun because you only read books that are already on your wishlist; so you basically get to read those books you've been wanting to lay hands on for ages. During the next few days I'll write a separate announcement post detailing which 12 titles I plan to read for this challenge.

That's it for now! I hope I can carry some of this enthusiasm into 2013. Oh, and before I forget: I'm wishing you all a great last day of 2012 and a good beginning of the next year!

Donnerstag, 27. Dezember 2012

Stuck in the Labyrinth

NS2515 : Labyrinth of stones by Andrew GuthriePerhaps thinking really is the root of all evil, the source of all unhappiness.
Look at me half a year ago: quite obviously there was nothing wrong with my life, nothing, except the nagging  doubt in my mind. There were just so many unanswered questions; questions I tried not to think about because they only made me miserable, but I literally couldn't. One cannot stop thinking simply because  one wishes to. And the more I thought about them; the more I thought in general, the more I felt the sadness creeping in and seeping through my whole being.

What will become of my life? How shall I ever choose the right path for my future in this labyrinth of possibilities? What do I really want? Will I ever find someone with whom I can be just myself? Why am I so different from everyone I know? Why do I always have to pretend in society; pretend I like people I can't stand, pretend I'm interested in their trivialities, pretend I am just like them? Why can't I keep my mouth shut when I know it's better to be quiet? Why do I quarrel with almost everyone? Why do I feel best when I am hidden away from the world, reading? Why is the world inside my mind so much more beautiful than the one outside? Why is my life so boring? Will it ever be anything else? Am I making myself unhappy because I expect too much? How could I think myself in any way special, expect something special for me? Do I even want this life at all? What would be so bad about throwing it away? Why can't I just give up?  And, the ever classic: Is there a sense in life? What for am I on earth? When I die, will something remain apart from dust and shadows?

You see, five minutes in my mind are probably enough to drive anyone mad. But there is another especially burning question, one which may explain to you why exactly I refused to read anything since August.
Perhaps it is my own fault that I am so unhappy? Perhaps I have made myself sad by reading too much, perhaps the books have simply planted unrealistic ideas in my mind? Perhaps I would not be so unsatisfied with the real world if I had never entered the world between the pages of a book?
I have no answer to this, but I tried to find one by changing my life completely. I tried to be a typical teenager, just like everyone else around me. I tried to stop thinking, stop caring, I went out a lot, drank and smoked. Needless to say, instead of feeling happy I slowly started to hate everyone, and above all myself.

And now? Now I am back. Changed and with a vast collection of new scars, but still back. I realised I missed a part of myself, in fact I missed the very part of me that makes me myself. This part is hard to define, but blogging, reading the classics and all of you definitely belong to it.
I know that I will have to make a lot of changes on this blog (and in my life) and I don't quite know yet which direction things are going to take, but I am back for good. If you still want me, that is.