Monday, 27 March 2017

Branching Out In Literature

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

- Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood 

Being an English Literature student, I have set myself a task of broadening my reading scope. To not stick to what I've grown comfortable with over my teenage years, but to explore and taste the hundreds of different books that laden the shelves of bookshops... the shelves I've previously avoided like the plague.

Branching out in the literary world is not an easy thing to do for me. I find comfort in what I know, and comfort is what I tend to go for when I'm picking out a book. But the more I learn about Literature, the more I realise there is so so much more than fantasy and sci-fy. 

The first book to set me outside my comfort zone was Lieutenant Hornblower by C.S Forster, which in actual fact was my boyfriends copy, and he'd thought I might like it. After struggling with the first few chapters, and letting it sit on my shelf for months. I packed it up with my uni things, and began again, with the aim of trying to finish it. I'm now over half way through, and am absolutely in love. 

Altering the can-do mindset is crucial when broadening horizons in every aspect of expansion of the mind. My initial response was to build a wall around them as they are new and different things I have not yet explored. The wall stood for 'it's difficult. It's going to be difficult.' It wasn't difficult, it was different. And breaking down that attitude is the most difficult part of change. 

I have always held Murakami's quote in my mind, I never knew it's origin until I came to writing this post. Expanding the mind has always been a fascination I've felt very connected with. Education is endless, you can never know it all, but absorbing as much as I can is part of my journey to widening my horizons. 

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