Can I confess something to you? I don’t necessarily like going with the flow. In fact, I can be quite contrary. Oh, not in everything, but in some very specific ways I’ve always had a hard time doing what others thought I should, the way they think I should do it. That tendency becomes exaggerated when it has to do with things that are very important to me. Like books. As a Christian, I have not read The Purpose-Driven Life. Nor do I intend to. The only reason I started reading Philip Yancey’s books were because nobody had mentioned to me how good they were. It tends to go the other way as well. I specifically picked up the Harry Potter books because so many evangelicals were saying not to. Books that have been banned, well, I need to know the reason why and decide for myself!
So when I was wandering around my college library as a fresh-faced 19 yr. old, trying to find something to read that would take my mind off my studies, I didn’t realize that Jane Austen was so beloved. So admired. So girly. When I picked Emma off the shelf, I was doing so simply because 1. it was a novel that had nothing to do with my studies, and 2. it was first alphabetically in fiction (my college library had a really awful fiction department). And then I was sucked down into the whirling vortex of all things Austen.
Imagine my shock, nay, my utter dismay, when I discovered that Jane Austen was the authoress whom all college girls adored. That she was the epitome of all things romantic. That I had just become one of millions of devoted fans. Not only do I consume her books in one sitting, I watch the movies. And cry. Anything another author has written about her or her works, or has used her as inspiration for their own novel, I read. I am obsessed. And I find it distressing that it is not my obsession alone.
I am, after all, a typical female.