I’ve been called a “book worm” over the years more times than I can count. I have literally (yes – this is the correct time to use that word) ALWAYS read multiple books at a time. Growing up, my mom could never figure out how I could keep the plots distinguished between books. I was also that kid where if I broke my leg during the summer, I wouldn’t be sad about staying inside not being able to run around. Because I’d have my books. When someone asks me what I like to do in my free time, I tell people I like to read. I’ve also been told I should “get a new hobby” because reading doesn’t count.
Reading is everything to me. I love the feeling of getting lost in a character’s life – seeing something through their eyes (while it’s how I picture it in my mind.) Reading to me isn’t necessarily an escape from reality – although sometimes I get so into the book that I forget where I am, what I need to do that day, and any underlying/below-the-surface issues I just don’t want to face at that time. Reading a book I love sometimes makes me overly happy, occasionally (often) ugly cry, and more often than not – give me a book hangover. Sometimes I have all three happen to me during the same book.
The book is ALWAYS better than the movie. And if it’s not better (see previous line – it’s ALWAYS better), then it’s at least AS GOOD. The movie has NEVER been better than the book. Ever. And it never will be. So many times I will hold off on seeing the movie until I’ve read the book. And if it happens that I see the movie before I read the book, I will ALWAYS picture the actors from the movie as the characters in the book.
One of my favorite happy places is curled up underneath a blanket, with a cup of coffee/tea/wine, and my book. It’s at that moment that I am completely at peace. My mind is calm and not running a million miles an hour, the TV is off, my to-do list is finished, and I am serene.
And lately – reading just hasn’t been happening for me. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment in time where I stopped reading, but it just hasn’t been happening. Maybe it’s me being lazy. Maybe it’s the fact that there is ALWAYS an SVU/CSI marathon on after work. Maybe it’s because I’ve got a lady date to binge-watch something on Netflix. Maybe it’s because my love is home for the weekend and I want to spend every waking moment with him rather than alone with my book. Maybe it’s because our newest little fluffy baby needs constant attention so he isn’t chewing/peeing on something. Maybe it’s because the books I’ve been reading aren’t gripping me enough so I just can’t get into them. All these could be a potential factor – and it makes me so sad to think about.
Reading is my JAM. For realz guys. I’ve even been terrible about reading my book club book. And if anything, that was at least the one I read. For a while I was reading a book a week. ONE BOOK IN ONE WEEK. Now it’s taken me MONTHS to finish a book with less than 200 pages. I don’t want to force myself to read – because that’s how people learn to hate reading. Like when you’re in school – you’re forced to read books for English and in turn, you end up either hating the book or just reading in general. Example – The Great Gatsby. We had to read it and pick it apart in high school. Doing all that made me not want to read it. I love reading for enjoyment, rather than reading for discussion. Except for book club – that discussion I really do enjoy. (Maybe also because I can drink wine at book club, but not in AP English.)
So before I go all “I vow to read one non-school book per week” a la Clueless on you all, I just want to make a mental note to read daily. Maybe that’s 15 minutes before bed. Maybe it’s first thing in the morning when Koji thinks 5 am is an acceptable wake up time. Maybe it’s a Saturday morning when Koji thinks 6 am is an acceptable wake up time. Maybe it’s Sunday afternoon while Koji is napping or he’s out on a walk with dad and mama gets some much needed peace and quiet. I’m adding a book into my purse so I have one if I ever get stuck in traffic, or if I’m waiting to pick someone up, or if I’ve got some time to wait before a store opens (because that’s a thing I do now with this furry little alarm clock.)
Reading has always been a major love of mine, and I don’t want to lose that love. So my job for all of you – remind me to read. Put a picture of the book you’re reading up on Instagram so I see it and am reminded to sit down with The Bell Jar for a little while. Add some books on your Goodreads “to be read” list so I can go through and be reminded what I have yet to read on my never-ending list – and sit down with All the Light We Cannot See while Koji is passed out after a long walk. Maybe I end up searching for something in Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook and end up reading through recipes in cookbooks for a while. You just never know when the (available) time will hit you and you have the opportunity to lose yourself in the words of someone else’s story.