Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Reader, Not a Fan

I spent a recent Saturday morning watching the new Spiderman movie in the theater. It was a good movie, fun and moving in places that I'd found previous interpretations to be dull and dark. The contrast was extreme enough for me that every time the film showed images of Spiderman's high school, I wanted to take out a highlighter and circle the sunny windows. Despite them, the film managed to convey the fear and depression that sour decisions and lead to the tragedy within Spiderman's origin story. It was a good movie, but I'm still not a Spiderman fan. My own fannish obsession is being released later this year, when the first part of The Hobbit comes to the theater. Ever since a recommendation from my brother, I've been listening to Tolkien Professor podcasts (looking forward to his book this September!) and have recently branched out into "Secrets of the Hobbit" and am catching up on back episodes. I have loved LOTR since I read the books--taking them from my dad's stash of fantasy novels kept in an old baby dresser in the laundry room. You had to ask permission to read those books and, like various sections in our elementary school library, being allowed to read them meant you'd passed some kind of invisible test. Gatekeepers, secret treasures, dragons! This was the foundation for my continued search for the next book, the next treasure my heart would drag into its grasp. I became an avid reader, but definitely a draconic one. There is no room for community in my reading, although a nice heated debate is always welcome. Instead of wanting to go live in Middle Earth, it seems that I want it to live in me. Which brings me to a separate realization. I am failed Huff Girl. A non-starter academic who was never clever and determined enough to ignite a career from her passion--was I not generous enough to want to share? Did I miss that community? Generosity seems to be the mark of community and it brings me podcasts that are free and wide-ranging and let me continue to live on the edges of what I once believed that I owned, that first miraculous hit of literature. The downside to a draconic desire is a house full of books and a head full of other people's stories that become a tower with no window. Dragons, of course, aren't rescued. They sleep and they dream and they acrete until passion becomes greed and greed becomes gluttony. Well. This didn't really go in the direction that I was expecting. In fact, it got completely out of control. Grrrrr. *gout of flame* I blame yesterday's late-night novel, Tea with the Black Dragon. Instead of greedy, sleepy Western dragons, the dragon in this novel was a sleek Chinese (?) black dragon whose story was interesting up until the end, in which a romance popped up like a ill-behaved cowlick taking over an otherwise well-coiffed head. Perhaps that is unfair. I will need to re-read the story. And possibly take a nap. If the dogs are dry from their mid-morning assault on the tomato jungle, a nap for sure. Until then,good reading.

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