I ended up ticking just one item off the list, ‘read a book you were really excited for but never picked up‘ – in my case BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine by Lisa Jervis and Andi Zeisler. However I also managed to read George Orwell’s Books v. Cigarettes essay from 1946. To start off with the essay, I think it sums up pretty much the thought of every student out there: do I spend my money on sustenance, food or on something that brings me more pleasure than food, a want or a need? In this case it’s ye old good vs bad paradigm but nevertheless, cigarettes are a vice that only provides pleasure for a couple of minutes at a time while a book’s effect is much more extended, obviously. However the way he goes into detail is quite endearing and my favorite part is that the essay’s brilliance lies in its simplicity. Is it obvious? Yes. Does it still apply almost a century letter? Yes. Have people always succumbed to the bad instead of the good in their thirst for instant gratification? I know this is a cliché but this is an essay to be read to every high-school, corporation and University out there. This is your flaw, human, it is ever-present in your mundane rut, do something about it.
As for the book, while I did admire the articles in their online magazine Bitch for ages, I didn’t know about this book and only accidentally stumbled upon it recently. Having done my fair research of feminism along the years, this book only came as a confirmation of bits and pieces I’ve pieced together on my own. As a teenager, this would have been an excellent read, it would have clarified so many concepts! This book gives you perspective, no matter your privilege, gender or background. It’s the mother of Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist. It was relevant and a great collection of contemporary socio-cultural issues analyzed in relation to actual events or trends going on at the time. It put my experiences as a female at the turn of the millennium in a new light and I seriously can’t recommend it enough. Considering our society has so many discourses that overlap and contradict each other, this book gives an overview on all of the existing points of view with an objective and keen eye for humanism.
Unfortunately these are all the texts I’ve gone through this readathon (as aforementioned on this blog, I’m not counting the comic books I’m reading.) The one thing I did figure out was that I need to make much more time for my books in order to read as many as I’d like, so organization would be key in this aspect. I am aware I am speaking in axioms but I need to jot them down and remember them at my lesser times. Time to breathe and prep for the next run!