How Reading Teaches Me A Lot About Self-Commitment

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Currently, I am reading ‘Thrawn Janet’, still by Robert Louis Stevenson. It has been taking me a few weeks for reading the short story which is just less than 20 pages. Worse, I don’t even really understand what I am reading about. It’s a triple embarrassment. I have never been this awful.

The hard thing about this short story is that the author, again and again, writes so many dialects in it. It also presents so many writing symbols, such as . Then, it writes the words exactly as they are uttered, like ‘likit’ for ‘like it’. I think they are all about the Scottish language. And you know what? I am so dizzy reading all about that. I really am.

As much as the author wishes to compose the story as original as it is, the method completely drives me insane. But I keep reading it despite the adversity. The experience has been torturing me in the past few weeks but I have kept doing it.

Why?

Because I want to be a damn responsible person. I have to complete what I start, no matter how miserable thing turns out to be. I never expected one of the author’s short stories would be this full of Scottish dialect, how would I know back then?

But deciding purchasing the collected short stories means I have to finish reading all works. I don’t want to put this book into the list of the unfinished novels in my book shelf. There have been some titles and I hope this book won’t be one of them. I am so sick with myself if I don’t keep my promise of reading books that I buy. I can get angry with myself because of that. I can feel so guilty to myself each time I don’t finish reading books.

After years reading books, I have learned how much I can value my self-commitment. In fact, you can measure the level of the self-commitment or train your own commitment through reading books, any kind of reading materials that you purchase then stick at it until the last page.

As a result, I can shamefully tell you that my self-commitment is fluctuating, but mostly I can keep my own words. There are amazing titles that I miss, including Middlemarch by George Eliot, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes and Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Really, I don’t know how I can resume reading the titles. I did try continue reading them but gave it all up, partly because I wasn’t into the writing styles.

If I can give comparison my reading commitment level is 80% to 20%, the lesser percentage is for those partial reading trips. Still pretty good score but I need to work on and reduce the 20% into a lower point.

What about you guys? Do you feel ugly if you don’t finish reading the books you decide buying?

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“Will O’ The Mill”, a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Will was an adopted son of an old couple living in a mill frequently passed by travelers. When Will was a little child, he was dreaming of embarking an adventure. He was once sitting at the top of a hill looking below it is a magnificent view of a big, vibrant and city.

His adopted parents turned the house they were living into an inn. Guests was coming and going, making Will was even more curious for traveling. The young man was a good listener, he was loved by guests. He was hardworking and definitely he was eager to hear stories. Yet one day, he met a man who said the opposite things about traveling. This man was realistic, telling Will that not all people living in big cities were happy.

Whether this was influencing Will or not, one couldn’t tell, but one thing for sure, Will didn’t leave the mill and the inn after his parents died. He was taking care of the whole business on his own. He hired several assistants to have had repair the inn. Slowly, Will was gaining a good reputation in his surrounding.

A church nearby his residence had to be dismantled. Will was offering the parson and his daughter, Marjory, to stay at his house. To this they agreed at least until the church was being repaired. The relationship between Will and Marjory was the thing that became a source of talks among their neighbors.

Marjory, a smart and timid person, 19 years old, much younger than Will, who is over 30 years old. Will told his father and her that he loved her and Marjory, who rarely spoke, told that she thought she felt the same thing. The thing that made her down was Will’s treatments to her.

Will very seldom talked and met her in private. A few days after his love declaration, Will said to her that his affection was unchanged but he wished they remained friends unless Marjory asked for him to wed her then Will would do that. Marjory firstly said she was offended. She and her father decided to leave Will.

Not long after that, Will knocked at Marjory’s house feeling so guilty. Much to his surprise, Marjory looked fine with what had been passing between the two. They remained good friends for nearly three years. They were enjoying the friendship and Will seemed so joyful for having Marjory as his friend.

All of a sudden, Marjory got married to a man that later made Will feeling blue. Marjory died not long after that, leaving Will so sad while accompanying her in her last breaths.

Will was living as a single, wise, philosophical man. A lot of people was trying to persuade him leaving the place but Will unmoved. His gentleness and wisdom was making him popular among tourists and guests. Will was growing older and weaker. He was now 72 years old. Despite his older age,Will and his servants kept welcoming guests. One night, a stranger came. He was inviting Will to drink wine. Both was having little chats. The stranger, who called himself as a doctor, started becoming weirder for Will.

Until the stranger told Will his intention of coming was picking the old man up to his afterlife. The doctor later introduced himself as death and he said he was usually hard to a lot of people but Will was an exception.

Will was glad in return with the coming of his death. He said he had been waiting for this moment. Since Marjory, his best friend, had been taken, Will was happy to go with his new friend to set an adventure. Finally, Will was traveling.

The picture is taken from this. Thanks so much for the picture.

 

 

“Emma” by Jane Austen

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For Emma Woodhouse, her entire life is all about caring the people who are very dear to her heart. After her mother passes away and her sole sister, Isabella, marries to Mr. John Knightley, Emma focuses her life taking care of her father, Mr. Henry Woodhouse and her governess, Miss Anne Taylor. Given her situation as ‘the only child’ in the house for Isabella leaves the residence, Emma grows up as a blunt, sometimes selfish, independent woman. She is also very smart.

Miss Anne Taylor gets along with her very well, much like a friend instead of a governess. Things turn a bit sour for Emma when Miss Anne Taylor marries with Mr. Weston partly thanks to Emma’s matchmaking plans. At one point, Emma is joyful that her former governess is now happy as the wife of a respectable man like Mr. Weston. But on the other hand, she and her father feel lonesome. They miss her in their house again for Mrs. Weston is like part of the family.

As such, when Emma meets Harriet Smith, a 17-year old, unspoiled, kind-hearted girl, her heart melts. Emma loves her from the start and she wants the best for her, including in terms of Harriet’s love life. The successful matchmaking story between Mr.and Mrs. Weston inspires Emma to do the same thing for Harriet.

Philip Elton is the targeted man for Harriet, Emma says to herself. He is a fine, good-looking, rich young man, about 27 years old. Harriet would be a perfect match for him and the other way around. And so Emma starts encouraging her friend to consider developing special feeling to Mr. Elton. While on the way of working this out, Emma is astonished to have known that Mr. Robert Martin proposes Harriet. Emma doesn’t bluntly oppose the marriage proposal but as the back of her mind wants her friend to marry Mr. Elton, Emma opts neutral, leaving Harriet to take her decision. Emma says Harriet should be her own best judge.

Harriet, who is just 17 when at the start of the novel, says ‘no’ although truth to be told, she is a little bit unsure of that. On the plans Emma putting into work, Mr. George Knightley, the brother of Mr. John Knightley, warns her that Mr. Elton actually likes Emma, not Harriet. Emma despises the opinion, resume the plan of uniting Harriet and Mr. Elton. Things go smoothly until Mr. Elton confesses to her that his feeling is for Emma. Harriet is mere a friend to him.

Emma despises him then feeling guilty of Harriet. She believes she plays a part on her brokenheartedness.  Harriet is such a loving person, fortunately, that she slowly heals from the pain without any slightest suspicions that Mr. Elton has a crush on Emma.

While Harriet is on the process of moving on from Mr. Elton, something shocks Emma; Mr. Elton is bound to get married! In just few weeks after Emma rejects his love. He marries to Augusta Elton, whom Emma judges as finical woman who seems to know everything. Although at first Harriet is sad, she quickly moves on from Mr. Elton.

While Mrs. Elton is busy introducing herself to the public, one of which is by setting up gatherings, here comes the much-awaited gentleman: Frank Churchill, the son of Mr. Weston but carries the name of his uncle’s family who doesn’t have any children.

For Emma, Frank infrequently visits his family in Randall because of his ill-tempered aunt. But this makes no sense for Mr. George Knightley who believes it is Frank who can’t make up my mind. He is old enough to determine whether or not he is supposed to make time for his father and step mother.

Emma and Frank gets closer quickly. Emma falls in love with his good-looking, easy going personality. They can communicate very well. On the other hand, Mr. and Mrs. Weston does wish they both get married someday.

It seems that Emma leaves Harriet when Jane Fairfax visits her aunt, Mrs. Bates and Miss Bates. Jane gets a permission from the Campbells who adopts her when she was young. Jane stays for a little while with the family of her late mother. There, Emma recalls the days when she envies her for she is beautiful and smart. In between her schedules to get closer to Jane as the former realizes she no longer envies the latter and Frank, Harriet occasionaly appears.

Mr. George Knightley always what lies behind closed door. He suspects Frank and Jane have secrets that no one knows, a prejudice that meets opposition from Emma. Emma, on the other hand, continue develops feeling for Frank. Once she gets her heart broken when she feels something romantic is going on between Frank and Harriet. Though Emma feels sorrowful she supports the scheme anyway for she knows Harriet is a devoted woman, she is nothing as compared to her friend.

Emma starts encouraging Harriet to have feelings for Frank. As this begin rolling on, Emma finds herself get even closer to Frank. But this doesn’t last for too long. Some occasions make Emma starts disliking him because of his unlikely manner. For instance, Emma can’t believe how Frank behaves so unfavorable after arriving to a gathering after a very hot journey. He curses, he acts so childish.

While Emma begins distancing herself from Frank, she expects Harriet likes Mr. George Knightley after watching the two walking closer together. To this, Harriet agrees. Somehow, Emma feels something uncomfortable happening inside of her heart when Mr. George Knightley bids farewell.

From that moment on, Emma is certain she likes Mr. George Knightley. She, again, is so down knowing that Harriet is fond of him, too.

Jane is unwell. Emma visits her but to no avail. Jane rejects her coming and presents. With the help of Mrs. Elton, Jane is about to be a governess. Something that quite shocks Emma. Another news that shocks her as well is when Mrs. Weston informs her that Frank and Jane are engaged!

Emma is surprised by the news but she is no sad at all. She tells the Westons that she is no longer love Frank a few months before the information comes up. In short, the Westons finally accept Jane.

Emma sends Harriet to her sister so that she can be alone with her thoughts about Mr. George Knightley. It is known that he has loved her since Emma was 13 years old. It doesn’t take a long time to get everything’s settled. The problem is on Emma’s father who wishes Emma won’t get married as he doesn’t want to be left alone.

As this is resolved at the end, Mr. George Knightley brings news that Harriet is going to get married to Mr. Robert Martin. Emma and Harriet eventually reconcile. They marry the men whom they admire and feel comfortable with, respectively.

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You know you’re a self-proclaimed bookworm when…

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  1. You only think of what titles you’re going to buy every time payday arrives no matter how urgent a party gown or office dress for you is. Then, you will curse yourself after not knowing what to wear to attend formal events. By the time you realize this, your money runs out. But mind you.. for you keep doing this all over again.
  2. A perfect weekend means spending a few hours reading a novel, sipping a cup of tea or coffee while sometimes listening to a good music. When some people say that is a smart choice of spending some days off you will respond it by saying, “I’d prefer to make use of my spare time with my boyfriend of husband if I have one, actually…”
  3. While another bus passenger click, browse their smartphones, you read novels instead. People may say you’re unique for keep reading paper-based books but deep in your heart you’re gonna admit that you don’t have enough money to buy those sophisticated gadgets. Or, the gadgets are affordable but they are too brilliant for a tech-illiterate like you. So, physical books remain the best pal during hectic journeys.
  4. You don’t mind being called as a geek for laying down in a grass while reading a novel while your office mates have a good time posing for narcisstic pictures. When they may pity on you, you firmly say, “Oh, that’s all right. I myself have best time with my own world.”
  5. Visiting a bookstore is a monthly must. Even if you have no money or bunch of unread books, you keep coming to the place. Once you get there, you inspect the titles of the books then leave them in the shelves. This has satisfied your curiosity.
  6. There comes a time when your reading desire is overwhelming. You opt to read tons of online articles in the internet despite the fact you still have some unread thick books. Even after you are done with the online articles, you end up rereading old stories from tabloids that you bought years ago. What about the thick books? Don’t worry, they are still in the bookshelf. You just don’t know yet how to regain the spirit to complete the reading or the heart to abandon them forever.
  7. You are reluctant to visit an eye doctor to get your eyes checked because you are afraid to may hear an ugly truth: that your eyes are now minus or that your minus may add because you read too much.
  8. Every morning you wake up feeling so joyful looking at the books filling up the shelves in your room despite the fact that you don’t really read them all. May be 75 or 80% but not 100%. You believe that they are the best treasures your grandchildren will inherit someday.

Source: personal experiences…