7:13 Reflecting on My Year of Reading

The book in my hand is one of the very first books I finished, on my own, as an adult, outside of what was required by college courses. This was only like 4 years ago. I already had 3 degrees, at this point, and had been teaching for 7 years, yet, I still did not see the value in independent reading. After “Where We Stand” a bell hooks classic, I finished The Fire Next Time, and then, I read Assata. She listed two books she read while incarcerated: Siddartha and Black Women in White America, so I read those, too. Angela Davis wrote the foreword to Assata’s book, so I read her autobiography, next. Then, Malcolm X’s because I found an OG copy of it while I was on sabbatical in Cuba. Then, Native Son, Giovanni’s Room, Kindred... and I before I knew it, I was a fiend for the high that came from what I call “smoking books” (super corny lol) ...I was guilty of going anywhere, from meetings to parties, being semi-rude and socially-introverted because I was more interested in reading my books than being amiable. I was broken hearted, to be honest, in search of myself. Reading was a form of therapy I never knew existed because I was taught to read for a grade, not for gratification. I found my voice in every page, as so many stories mirrored parts of me that I was still trying to understand. I felt more and more free after each book I finished. And in the moment that I wanted to beat myself up for not reading as much before, something inside of me said to trust my personal learning process...books are like people, they come into your life for a reason and season. I’ve been struggling with finishing books, this year. I’ve started like 20 and have only finished 8 but those 8 are all I needed. And if you only finished 1, that all you needed, too. If you ain’t finish none, assess your learning, what did you digest? Documentaries? Articles? Music? That counts as as a form of text, too, as long as your aware of your learning. As for me, I ain’t into smoking books at this time in my life, I’ve switched to slow sipping and enjoying the richness.