Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Person I Wish I Was

Last week Jenny had this brilliant insight on her blog,

The interesting thing about working slowly through my TBR pile(s) is that quite often, I find that the reason I haven’t read the fiction books is that they are not quite my jam. It’s all these books that I want to be my jam... but something inside me knows that they will not be. And that is why I have been putting them off. (emphasis mine)

Though for me this goes much beyond fiction books in my TBR pile. (though it certainly applies there) It also has to do with all the nonfiction books I have, the movies in my Netflix queue, and even sometimes the TV shows I try to watch.

I read this same idea again on The Rabbit Room in a great piece by Andrew Peterson last week,

Years ago I read a great op-ed piece in Entertainment Weekly about Netflix. The author talked about how seldom he feels like watching the DVDs that come in the mail, prompting him to wonder what he was thinking when he added them to his queue weeks ago. His conclusion was that he’s two people: the movie watcher he wishes he was, someone who enjoys sophisticated, artful fare like A Trip to Bountiful and Tree of Life—and then there’s the movie watcher he is, who, let’s face it, would rather turn off his brain and watch Die Hard and Terminator 2.

There's the person I wish I was...someone who reads speculative fiction, the classics, the smart poetic philosophical Christian writers, non-fiction in general--this person acquires books of this sort. My TBR pile is overflowing with books that seem like a good idea, books I wish I loved, books that I feel even by owning make me one tiny step closer to this smarter person with good taste and then there's the person I actually am--the one who gobbles up women's fiction and dystopian YA quite quickly and let's be real--misses 75% of the point of War and Peace.

Where do I get this idea of this other person? I think honestly, from the people I know. The people I admire and respect. They like these other things and sometimes I like them, too, but more often than not I don't quite love them in that same gut way others do.

I feel sometimes like I am both people...I do love Tree of Life, for example, and some subtitled Danish shows. But I also watch and take seriously The Walking Dead and like to jump on tumblr and reblog all the pretty gifs after enjoying an episode of TV I watch. I like to talk about the books I enjoy and the movies I like even if they aren't up to whatever the standard of the day is.

Part of me wants to get real and discard the books that exist only as physical representation of who I wish could be rather than who I actually am. But another part of me thinks I'll eventually get disciplined enough to actually somehow become this person. This is the true struggle with the TBR.

It's weird because as I write this I think about all the complicated stuff in play. Like how there's art that's considered sophisticated and therefore it says something about you if you like it. I mean maybe that's my ultimate thing I battle when I want people to take YA and TV-other-than-Mad-Men seriously. I love other stuff and I don't want to be dismissed on account of it.

And yesss these are MY issues. But it's interesting to contemplate and consider this ever present conflict inside of me.

Anyone relate? Even a little bit?


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