New Book Night

I don’t know many guys my age who read books. I also don’t many guys my age who have a blog. Then again, it feels like 90% of the blogging community is female, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

I read books and have a blog, so at times, I feel like an anomaly. I’m okay with that. A few years ago, one of my friends said I was a “dying breed”. I’m proud of that compliment.

To get to the point I’m trying to make, I need to make a detour.

Detour begins here. 

When I was growing up, I was always the sports kid. I wore at least one jersey to school every week. When we had to draw something for Art, I’d draw a hockey rink, or a baseball field because that’s what I knew.

When I had to draw something else, I’d draw a house with a door, three windows, a welcome mat, a tree out front, with a few clouds, and a sun above it. That was easy because all I was doing was drawing shapes.

If you ask me to draw more than that, you’re asking for trouble.

I draw sausage people and my animals all look the same. The only way you can tell them apart is by their tail, whether they have udders or not, and what the thought bubble says above their head.

When I got to university and my major was Sport Management, it felt like I was looked down upon by others in holier-than-thou majors.

I’d always get the, “What, do you watch highlights and look at stats in class all day?”

They made it seem like I was in a major for dumb jocks who couldn’t get into anything else because they can’t speak good.

My 88% average in Grade 12 didn’t matter because my major had the word “sport” in it. And sports are for stupid people.

I guess that put a subconscious chip on my shoulder to prove that I wasn’t “dumb” and that I knew stuff other than sports.

I took a Geography course one year with friends who weren’t in my program. It was an 8AM class. The day of the mid-term exam, I walked into class without sleeping at all during the night.

Now, for some reason I’d always been really good at Geography. I first realized that in Grade 7, when the material didn’t seem as dreary, boring, or outdated as History.

I wrote the exam and a few weeks later we got our marks. My friends and I compared notes. Wouldn’t you know it, I pulled out a 94%. Me! The Sport Management kid.

“How did you get a 94? You didn’t even sleep the night before.”

I can’t tell you how pleased I was with myself.

Detour ending here.

On Saturday night, I finished a book called, The Rooster Bar by John Grisham. The first 100 pages were making me doubt why I was reading it, but the last 250 were worth it, I suppose.

The book took me well over a month to read, because I couldn’t bring myself to read more than a chapter at a time until this past weekend.

Also, I’m convinced more pages were magically added to it as I was reading, just to mess with me.

All of Sunday, I had this anticipation about me that I could finally start a new book that night. There are about ten on my floor still in their bags, just waiting to be chosen.

It’s like that scene in Toy Story where the toys are in the arcade machine and the claw (The Clawww) comes down and picks up one toy at random. That’s basically how I choose my next book. I pretend my hand is the claw from Toy Story.

Okay, my selection process is more scientific than that. I’ll normally select a book that is completely opposite from what I just finished reading.

I don’t know if this is a thing other people do, but whenever I get to start a new book I call it a, “New Book Night”. It’s pretty self-explanatory. I read at night and get to start a new book.

New Book Night. Rolls off the tongue in your mind.

The book I chose from my floor is called, Throwing Rocks At Houses by Colleen Jones. It’s been sitting there for a while and I figured I’d use the “First In, First Out” method I learned in Grade 11 Accounting.

I try to apply lessons learned in school, to real life, whenever possible.

It’s a curling book, written by a legendary Canadian curler. I love curling (have never participated in it, though) and it’s not the first curling book to meet my eyes.

Of the last five books I’ve read, two have been about professional wrestlers, one was about a former Secret Security Agent’s experience in the White House under the Clinton administration, one was written by the creator of Nike, and the last was a John Grisham novel.

Now I’m on to curling.

Is that all over the place? I hope it is.

This year, I’ve been adding pictures of books, and quotes from them, to my Instagram story. At first, I wondered if people would find it weird. Now, I still wonder if people find it weird, but I don’t care anymore.

Everything we share on social media is judged by the people who see it, so I might as well post the stuff I like. And if I can make it normal for a “sports kid” like me to share pictures of books, and not make it seem like something out of left field, then I’ll be happy.

I think some guys fight with perception, and if they admit to liking a certain thing they’ll be laughed at, or looked at differently.

Well, screw that.

I’ve seen my fair share of teen drama shows, I blog about The Bachelor, and I could probably write out some lyrics to songs from High School Musical, but at the same time I can flip the script and talk about true crime cases, songs from the 80s, and almost every sport until the cows (with udders and “Moo” in a thought bubble) come home.

I’m proud of that. Sports will always be my wheelhouse, but it feels good to have knowledge in other areas – especially ones people wouldn’t expect from me.

That being said, I don’t know a lot about a lot. But at one point I didn’t know how to use a potty, so I trained. Ha, that made me chuckle. I’m picturing Rocky music in the background as I do bicep curls with rolls of toilet paper.

On the other side of the coin, I’ve seen girls who talk about sports get a lot of flack from guys who want to challenge their knowledge at every step in an attempt to prove that they don’t know as much about sports as guys do.

I’ve never liked that, partially because I know my sister will kick my butt every day of the week and twice on Wednesdays when it comes to hockey knowledge from the late 90s and early 2000s.

Why can’t we let people like what they want to like and talk about what they want to talk about? If their facts are wrong, then they’re facts are wrong. Gender shouldn’t play a part.

I think everyone around us has a specific definition of who we are written down on a spreadsheet in their head. And the moment we do something that is contrary to their definition, alarm bells go off because their data shows we’re not supposed to be that person.

In reality, those definitions are worthless.

We are more than they think we are. But the Bears are who we thought they were.

And it’s never one size fits all. In this case, it’s one size fits Paul. In your case, I hope your name also rhymes with “all” or else that will be a tricky pun to swing.

Point being – be proud of the things you like and don’t be afraid to admit them. Because at the end of the day, no one is like you, so how could anyone possibly judge?

And yes, all of this came about because last night was a New Book Night.

Hurry Hard.

What book are you reading now/next? Do you have an interest that others would be surprised by? How can I draw animals and make them all look different? 

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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39 Responses to New Book Night

  1. I had so much to say and then got to the end with your bolded questions (and you have to pay attention to bolded things!) And forgot all about it haha. Although there was a “I had a friend who did one year of sports management at Brock and left because of the harrassment from her male classmates”

    No books for me right now. I’m onto blanket making so I can’t do both. I did just finish “shooting from the lip: quips and quotes about hockey”. Not sure what my next will be. Its coming from a friend so I have no choice. It better not be about football, thats all I require.

    People are always shocked when they find out I have tattoos. Apparently, I’m of the “sweet and innocent” category which means I shouldn’t have ink. Or so much of it at least. Not sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Nooo now I want to know what your lost thoughts were! That’s unfortunate about your friend. In my class there were about 80-100 people but only about 15-20 girls. From what I saw, it didn’t even matter. They fit in like everyone else.

      “I’m onto blanket making” – no one has ever said that in a comment to me before ahaha

      Hmm yeah I think some people expect those who have tattoos to be in a motorcycle gang or something lol

      Liked by 2 people

      • Haha the thoughts are long gone now! And she was 1 of maybe 5 girls in her program. It kind of sucked for her. But she was one of the Sara’s on my blog and always had drama so maybe it was exaggerated? I’m not sure!

        Hehe theres a first for every thing! Now you’ve had someone say it!

        And I guess? But aren’t tattoos more common now? Lol almost every single one of my friends has one.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. markbialczak says:

    Be proud of your love for and knowledge of sports, Paul. I am and always will be. Sports is people. Sports is business. You have to be smart to be good at the non-playing part of sports. Sports is so much more than games, but the games can make sports fun at the nub of it.
    Yeah, I’m a proud reader, too. By the way, ‘Camino Island’ by Grisham I found more interesting than ‘The Rooster Bar.’ I like detective novels. Anything by Michael Connelly or Robert Crais gets me every time; I keep up with their entire output. I suggest Nelson DeMille for good storytelling novels. Have a good day.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Well said, Mark! Thanks for the author suggestion. I’m always looking for new ones. Yeah, I found ‘The Rooster Bar’ to be a bit too far-fetched at times, even for a work of fiction. I have another Grisham book in waiting – ‘The Whistling’ – hoping that one is good.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Squid says:

    This needed to be said, and you said it wonderfully.
    See, I’m the kind of person who buys one or two books a week from my library bookstore and then reads one a month, if that. Soooo I have probably at least 10 on my shelf that I need to read. The one I hope to finish reading soon is “The 2548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said” by Robert Byrne, which is a compilation of great and funny quotes. I’ve read some of it, but haven’t finished it. He even includes his own quotes in there and that cracks me up.
    As for unusual interests for a teenage girl, I can debate people on Marvel Comics characters trivia till a few cows are still in the field but the responsible ones came home, and I can discuss US govenmental and fiscal policies very rationally with adults and use big words and know what they mean… Lolol
    I have no answer for the animal question… 😕

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Woah 2548? My locker number in high school was 2549…..crazy! haha. See in a way I’m jealous that you have all that knowledge about Marvel characters and governmental policies. I find it hard getting into either one of them. I’ll follow politics during election seasons but I’d be lying if I said I understood everything.
      Thanks for sharing, Squid!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Squid says:

        Oh my goodness! That’s a crazy coincidence!
        Haha see, I’m kinda envious of your sports affinity and knowledge, because I feel like it’s a big part of my culture that I just don’t get… On that note, I went to a Marlins vs Braves game at the Marlin’s Stadium (previously the Orange Bowl) and loved it, haha.
        The politics thing is, I feel, a blessing and a curse. As a Christian, the corruption and self-serving nature of my nation’s leaders (except for Mike Pence, who is pretty genuinely increidble) weighs heavily on my soul. To see Canada and the UK make some pretty anti-Christian policies too in the past few years has given me much to pray about! So, I understand what the world is doing, and it hurts my heart for those who are suffering. I actually like how Pres. Trump is running the country (effectively), so I’m not talking about that, haha.
        I always enjoy our comment conversations! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

  4. cd says:

    Love the idea of New Book Night!

    As always love your posts. Always so comical & honest, its amazing, thanks for the laughs! Good luck with the new book.

    Side note only 14 sleeps till the bachelorette airs…

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Becky Turner says:

    I’ve been on a chick lit book kick lately, mostly because I need ideas for my own story I’m working on. I’m also into politics lately, like dipping my toe into the shallow end, so I’ve read a few political books, like one about Watergate (which I guess would be my surprise interest) and another by Obama’s speech writer. I’m always at the town library getting a new book, but I only get one at a time so I don’t feel overwhelmed.

    I appreciate your mention about girls knowing sports and getting flack from guys. Thankfully, I haven’t experienced too much harassment, but I’m sure there are countless girls who have. Obviously I’m the first person who thinks that needs to change, and I like your point about letting people like what they like. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone.

    On a side note, everyone in college thought I was a sports man major just because I like sports, and I had to explain to them that I was a communications major. One of my roommates was a sports man major and there were a few assignments she had about baseball that I had to help her with haha. She and I also butted heads a lot when it came to football because she’s a Patriots fan and I’m a Giants fan. (When Tom Brady got suspended for good that second time, I went out and bought her a six pack to drown her sorrows with.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      I just spent two minutes trying to say “chick lit book kick” three times fast. It’s too difficult haha. What’s the book by Obama’s speech writer about? That sounds interesting.

      I always like your baseball insights. Honestly, most of the time you’re more up to date on league wide stories than I am. They were talking about the bullpen cart on Sunday Night Baseball last night and said only 3 players have used it! None of the Diamondbacks have used it. What a bunch of party poopers!

      I’m sure your roommate appreciated that! I’m also a Patriots fan, that entire thing was ridiculous. I don’t think I ever had baseball assignments, other than in sports marketing we had to come up with a marketing plan for a team so we did the Blue Jays. And then in a Writing class I took, we had to write a 600 rant about anything, but could go over the word limit if needed. I believe I wrote 1800 words about the Toronto Blue Jays haha it was great!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Rea says:

    I hate it when things that don’t need to be gender segregated, are gender segregated. One that REALLY bugs me is that a guy can’t dance or act without looking his manliness. Or guys can’t like rom-coms. Or it’s not manly to play an instrument/sing. It seriously drives me crazy! I’m so glad you addressed this subject in a Paul-like manner, but still got the point across.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Lee Dunn says:

    Just started rereading Anna Karenina. How’s that for a stodgy old classic? And you’re right- the older we get, the less we mind what people think of our likes and dislikes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Absolutely. I think we all went through that phase growing up of trying to be accepted based on our likes, then we realize there’s no point in that.


  8. rencyalmero says:

    Hi Paul! I’ve been following your blog ever since. Lol. This post caught my attention because I think we share the same sentiments. I’ve been thinking what to write lately and your post somehow gave an idea.

    Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is quite a good read. I hope you give it a shot. For my ‘new book night’, I have by my side The Brothers Karamasov.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Tanushka says:

    I am studying physics chemistry and mathematics but I looove history (until I have to cram it) and what interests me the most is Indian colonial period because I had it for 2 years. Yes, in India, 2 years of COMPULSORY history class focus in so excruciating detail about the horrors of the British rule and their war crimes on India, even though nobody recognises them for what they are (India had 29% of the world trade in 1600 and 4% in 1900)(I think you understand it’s a sore spot for me.) Anyway, I like poetry, and politics, but I have a burning hatred for geography. Maybe it’s because of the shit syllabus we have, because when I finished my final exams 2 months ago, I went up to my geography teacher and said “I’m glad I don’t have to cram soil compositions and mineral extracting methods anymore.” (I actually did.) What else? Oh yeah from the class 6th to 10th, every single play that happened in my school was written by me. I wrote as much as two scripts a week, mostly recycled the old ones but nevermind. As if that was not challenging enough, I wrote 5 of them in verse, start to finish. Never won a single award, I dunno what that says about my writing. And yeah, because I wrote the plays, I always snuck myself into the cast, so eventually, I learnt how to act decently, and I remember for some reason, we had a professional method actor in our school, and he sat me down and asked me to “release my soul and let Jesus take over” (none of us were christians).
    And I promise this is last, because of my Mom and my grandma, I know a little too much about Ayurveda and yoga. I have done it since I was 3. And I speak 3 languages, understand 6, but that’s not impressive in India. You need atleast double of that to understand your neighbours. Anyhoo, I think we can all agree this was too long.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      My goodness. I don’t even know what to say ahaha. I enjoyed reading this blog post of yours which you were kind enough to leave as a comment. I’d still take Geography over History any day though. That sounds like a lot of school plays if you had 2 scripts per week! That method actor sounds weird.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Becky Turner says:

    The book was about how he got his job in the White House and different speeches he wrote over the years for Obama and how what was happening in the administration and the country affected his speeches. It was pretty cool, and as a writer, I really enjoyed it.

    I have three different notification apps on my phone and I’m always on Twitter, so that’s how I stay ahead haha. YES I don’t know why any of the Diamondbacks haven’t used it yet. It’s their own bullpen cart! They’re dumb.

    Have you told me why you’re a Pats fan? You might have but I don’t remember. I always tried my best to make assignments/papers baseball or sports related. Not sure how my professors felt, but I liked it. Plus it made me actually want to write it since it was about something I liked.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Maybe the Diamondback relievers made a stupid bet like the first one to use the cart has to buy everyone dinner or something and they’re all just too stubborn to give in.

      I can’t remember if I told you my Pats story either lol. I became a fan of them when Brady won his first Super Bowl and basically marched down the field in 90 seconds to win it with a field goal. My fandom has been on and off since then, I’ve bounced around between the Jets and Buffalo for some reason (probably because they always televise their games up here so it’s convenient) but I’ve always come back to the Patriots even if I’m not a hardcore fan. It’s just hard for me to be 100% invested in a team that isn’t my geographic home team.


  11. Ariel Lynn says:

    I’m currently a couple of pages away from finishing “The Complete Works of Shakespeare.” However, since it’s heavy as all get out, I’m also reading “Stretching Anatomy,” which I’ll follow with “Women’s Strength Training Anatomy Workouts.”

    I think my interest in working out would probably surprise people from looking at me. I don’t look like I know a bicep curl from a leg press. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      The Complete Works of Shakespeare! Oh wow, that seems daunting. I’d probably start using that language if I read that much of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        I think it speaks to your varied interests that you chose to focus on the former book instead of the latter! I thought the workout books would align with your sports interests. Or do you not consider weight-lifting a sport? Do I consider it a sport? LOL

        Oh yeah, I fell into using some Shakespearean language in conversations while I’ve been reading it. Usually I followed it with an apology & explanation. Many laughs were had at my expense (I laughed too, so it’s OK). 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      • Paul says:

        Haha I think you’re assuming I workout!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        I wouldn’t deign to assume thee workout! 😉

        I only thought it would be of interest, like I said, because it “aligned” with your sports interest. It’s my understanding that a lot of athletes work out/lift weights/stretch. Also, some consider weight-lifting/body-building a sport. I know wrestlers work out a lot! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Jess says:

    Gahhhh I’ve been slacking on reading lately. And what’s sad is that I have all the time in the world to read. I just read Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh though. I read it in less than two days haha I go through these bursts where I read a book super fast, and then I don’t pick up another book for two months.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Haha I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that quickly. All of them drag out for a few weeks. What was that one about?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jess says:

        She drew out all of these cartoons about herself haha so she had some hilarious stories from her childhood but she also talks about depression and stuff too. It was really entertaining to read haha

        Liked by 2 people

  13. peckapalooza says:

    I always felt like I couldn’t fit in with a lot of my friends because I wasn’t a sports guy. I mean, I enjoy a good game of sports ball as much as the next person. But I’ve never been one to memorize who played 2nd base for Cleveland in 2003. Movie quotes? Entire plot lines from obscure TV shows? Useless knowledge that will only come in handy if I ever manage to make it on Jeopardy? That’s where I shine. Unless that useless knowledge involves Cleveland’s 2nd baseman in 2003.

    I am currently reading two books. Sort of. I’ve decided to move on in my Stephen King reading list, so I picked up The Talisman. I got a couple hundred pages into it and then was notified by the local library that A Wrinkle In Time, which I reserved back when the movie came out, was finally available. So now I’m reading that instead, and being reminded of all the reasons why I love the book and hated the movie.

    I really can’t help you with the drawing animals thing. I like to think I’m a decent artist. But I have a hard time drawing something if I’m not looking at it. For my drawing class in high school, I drew a couple of portraits of our family dogs that turned out pretty decent. But I once tried to draw a cat freehand and it turned out looking like something from a Tim Burton nightmare. I’m pretty sure it’s on my Instagram feed if you scroll back far enough. It’s pretty scary.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      See, our knowledge of things is the exact opposite. I know who the 2nd baseman was for Cleveland in 2003 but I’d be completely useless on Jeopardy.

      The Talisman rings a bell for me, it might be one of the books I have in waiting for myself. Hmmm…

      Hahah I think I would draw worse if I had to look at something and copy it. I’m trembling just thinking about it. I’ll have to scroll through your feed and dig that up!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I absolutely loved this entry! I am the bookworm to an elder brother’s sports fanatic. Over the decades I have tried to get him to read, as I know he is smarter than he pretends to be and would enjoy a good read. He, unlike you, enjoys the stereotype of knowing sports and having a certain disdain for books. I keep reminding him that he taught me all about football when we were kids and had me in the yard playing tackle ball and I loved it, until the boobs came in and tackling hurt more than the game was worth. LOL I wish I could convince him his masculinity would not suffer the mental equivalent to the pain my boobs did back in the 70s. Any ideas how I can help him love books as much as you do?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Haha well if he truly like sports and knowing as much as he can about them, he should be reading books too. You can convince him he’ll learn a lot of inside information from books written by athletes, that he won’t learn anywhere else!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Ely says:

    WHOA! Was this post about reading books or everyone writing books? in your comments section? LOL ok sorry I don’t believe I was supposed to type that out loud. First of ALL: I agree with the friend who told you that you were- what was it- the last of a dying breed? Let’s hope you’re immortal too. And I ALMOST DIED HERE: “It’s like that scene in Toy Story where the toys are in the arcade machine and the claw (The Clawww)” BECAUSE I SAID THE CLAWWWW in that voice…in my head. It was really an amazing moment in my brain.
    I also love the “And it’s never one size fits all. In this case, it’s one size fits Paul” line. Come one now. That was straight out of the Team Genius playbook!

    I’m reading Amy Schumer’s “memoir” “The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo” and I’m also reading Lena Dunham’s book, “Not That Kind of Girl”. I read books by all of my favorite comedian ladies- it’s like my thing. I love Chelsea Handler and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and I have all their books too. They inspire the sarcastic and strong woman inside of me.

    I also like THRILLERS! But now I’ve also left a blog post. Damn it. OFF TO CHEF PAULO!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      LOL I appreciate you saying that out loud! I get some comments and put off reading them until I’m mentally prepared.
      The CLAWWWW YES! No one mentioned that and I thought no one got it or found it funny. I knew I could rely on you!

      Solid book collection you have. It definitely translates to your writing! You’re the Queen of Comedic Thrillers.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Suri says:

    “I’ll normally select a book that is completely opposite from what I just finished reading.”
    Haha, I like this idea. 🙂

    I’m currently reading 2 books: A Feast For Crows by George R. R. Martin. It’s part 4 of A Song Of Ice And Fire series.. I find GRRM’s books heavy, with a lot of content that takes time to completely absorb in the book, so for the time being I have switched to a light, short read- Part 3 of The Trials Of Apollo series: The Burning Maze. I find this series okayish as compared to its prequel series by Rick Riordan, The Heroes Of Olympus.

    As for drawing animals, I would suggest to look up pictures of various animals and observe their differences. Try and distinguish them mentally first and I’m sure it’ll be reflected in your artworks. 😀 you can start off by copying a cartoon of some animal instead of a real picture. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Juggling two books at once! That’s impressive. I’ve always thought about doing it but then I feel like I wouldn’t ever finish either one.

      Those are great tips for drawing animals! No one bothered giving me advice until now lol. My problem with art has always been in trying to transfer the image in my head, to a sheet of paper. It’s hard lol Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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