Soliloquy For An Avid Reader

Earlier this summer, fellow writer Suzie Ivy posted My Writer’s Twist on Shakespeare based on the “To be or not to be” Soliloquy for Hamlet over at the Reading and Writing Cafe blog.  She urged other writers to follow suit with whatever issues they were feeling conflicted over — work, parenting, eating, exercise …

Like most people, I have a list of issue a mile long that I am conflicted over.  Every thing from  the deformed and half dead Honey rose tree that I love and can’t find a replacement for but need to remove to how I will spend the next hour.  But in the spirit of  honoring the original writer, Shakespeare, I thought I would write about the temptations of “The Hunger Games” series and how it became my little conflict this summer.

Suzie first told me about the series probably a year ago with an emphatic “you’ve got to read these book!”  But I’ve never been a fan of apocalyptic type books, so The Hunger Games was mentally shelved in my “some day I should read this” category.  Then this spring my niece  who had already read the first book took me to see the movie and I was hooked.  I’ve been dying to read the books ever since, but knowing that they will consume my every waking hour until I finish the last book has made me wait and wait for the perfect time to immerse myself.  I think I’m honing my delayed gratification into a fine art.

And so, I reveled a bit in my reader’s angst and an old college course I wrote…

Soliloquy For An Avid Reader
  by Linda Anselmi

To read, or not to read,-- that is the question:
  Whether 'tis nobler of the soul to suffer
  The slings and arrows of our own misfortune,
  Or to take refuge in a sea of outrageous escapism
  And thereby ignore our own fate.  To read, to dwell--
  No more, amid imagined worlds, apart
  The heartache, the drama, the knowledge
  That books are heir to: 'tis a consummation
  Devoutly to be missed.  To read, to dwell;
  To dwell, perchance to escape - ay, there's the rub,
  For in that dwell what insights may come
  When we ventures forth among the dragonslayers
  Must give us courage.  There's the hope
  That makes fortune in what an author long imagined.
  For who would savor the costume and manner of another time,
  Th'tyrant's might, the Aristocrat's swagger,
  The horrors of alien beings, the criminal's steal,
  The corruption of politicans, and the pains
  That love requited of th'unworthy makes,
  When justice tenders the scales to tilt,
  With the pages open?  Who would lay burdens aside,
  To revel and fret under the author's pen,
  But that accepts the wonder in the book,
  The new discovere'd country, from whose end
  No reader seeks, once surrendered in will,
  And makes us rather bear the pen of those that know our ills
  Than flee from words that we know not of?
  Thus books doth make conscience of us all,
  And thus the color of our resolution
  Is fed by the merest twist of phrase
  And enterprise of great action and moment
  With this regard the mind is swayed
  And lost in the lure of words.  Gently you now,
  The Hunger Games!-- Temptation, in thy covers
  Be all my sins remembered.


Are you an avid reader ?   What are you feeling conflicted over?




  1. Love it!!! Such a struggle, to read or write. There are so many books I am dying to dive into, but there is a story itching to come out too. AHHH!!


  2. Hey Gaby! Thanks for stopping by. Yes. That is ever the temptation for me also. Love your blog — Two Readers Writing. Looks like you’ve found some great reads I need to check out.


  3. Love this! I keep hearing that in order to become a better writer, I have to keep reading. It’s a tough conundrum, isn’t it? What do I spend my time doing? Writing feels productive, reading feels like a luxury. I have so much in my head to get out, but I miss just cozying up with a good yarn. Could I put a sticky on my book cover that says, “No really, this is work!” or “This is my art form?” Haha… Loved your wordplay, too!


    1. “No really, this is work!” is perfect. I want to put that on the cover of my Kindle! I used to devour books like a sugar addict in need of a constant high. Now I like to savor a good book. Let the taste and feel of it linger in my mind to see what resonates before I venture on to the next.

      Thank you Edee! Decades ago, I took a class in college on Elizabethan literature and loved it! But it turn out to be a hard class for a then business major. I wound up having to write a sonnet for extra credit. Who knew I would ever actually use that knowledge again and for fun and entertainment.


  4. This is fabulous! 🙂 I love the word play – very clever, and true to the spirit! I am conflicted over the dichotomy between my belief in my ability to succeed and the (little) amount of success I have achieved. I wonder whether to continue to believe is just hubris, yet I cannot see how to succeed without the belief that I can…
    For now, I keep falling on the side of the fence that has me believe – but it gets lonely over here at times…


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