Something happens when I read. Pages into an intriguing book, and revelry is found in relaxation. Just seconds later and it happens–the storm of internal questions and echoes of commentary. Then, my rebellious fist mentally shakes at the author and selected content.
Photo courtesy: libguides.caltech.edu
It is not the stirring of an frantic imagination, that colorful entity described during the stages of youth, but something of an importance to a more mature mind, something called, critical thinking. And, it seems to lead to what I might dub, the realm of cynicism. One would assume that matured reading would find rest in the stability of being assured, but for me, I become preoccupied with stern sense of inquiry. Consider the scenario:
All delighted to return to finish the last three chapters, I’m engrossed in a novel. The thoughts come-a rushing, tuning out the surroundings, including people; then, I’m knee-deep in a sludgy realm of questions: “How did they arrive at that?,” “The dates for that event seem, meh, off,” “That a repeated phrase?” Suddenly, someone nearby says something aloud like, “Oh, look at that cute squirrel!” Disturbed, I’m inclined to toss off a half-attentive remark to them. Closing the book, I now see glimpses of that cynical abyss in the outside reality, questioning why far more than a handful of people obsess over Beyoncè‘s whereabouts (oh, how I wish it was just a handful) or wondering why a slew of speakers seem to express themselves using “like” in every…single…utterance.
I know it cannot be uncommon to ponder the idea, and I’m not eluding to being a nominee for “The Most Bitter Chick on Crazy Avenue” award; I’m certainly not eluding to being pretentious and arrogant. But, I believe that the cynicism realm may deserve some kudos. After all, it seems to encourage analysis. I can detect that this fuels the independent thought-making process, and this independence can be celebrated for inducing, at least a portion of, brain activity.
As I previously stated, this doesn’t seem like it’d be a one-time phenomenon. So, offer your input, page-turners. Have you ever found yourself cynical while or after reading?