It feels so decadent.
It almost feels sinful…
To sit down and pick up a book…
…In the middle of the day!
I’ve always been a reader. I don’t even remember learning to read. As far as I can remember, I’ve always been able to.
My happiest memories of childhood are of our family reading together.
We read about NIMH, Narnia, Middle Earth, the cupboard, the high seas, deep space, jungles… More places than I can remember.
When we outgrew family reading time, I started reading on my own. I was never as voracious a reader as my brothers, but I was always reading something.
When I was studying I found it hard to read for pleasure, as I am a slow reader and spent so much time reading school materials.
But upon graduating from college, I moved back home and started working a job that had a 30 minute commute by public transport. Perfect. My love was rekindled.
After having children, though, my reading slowed way down.
And then, after my mother died, I nearly stopped reading altogether.
Reading was something I shared with my mother. It was something we did together. Almost everything I read was a recommendation from her.
She had majored in English and was always a deep and thoughtful reader. By reading the same books, we could talk about them together, too. Long after I’d stopped writing papers for English class, I’d still be discussing and arguing them with my mother.
When she died, that font dried up. There was no one else I could really talk about books with.
Many of my friends and family read constantly. But either they restrict their discussion of books to their book groups, or their tastes and interests are very different from mine.
And sadly, many friends, like me, have drifted away from reading because they feel they don’t have time. Whether it’s because of kids or work.
Since moving back to the States where I have access to a wonderful public library system, my love of reading has rekindled.
Access to English-language books is helpful.
Developing the courage to make my own reading choices and branch out into the unknown is also helpful.
Suddenly, despite not having my reading guru–my literary guide–anymore, I have fallen in love with reading all over again.
Now, with the pandemic, struggles with mental health, small children at home, isolation and boredom pressing in–Now, more than ever, reading is a necessary pleasure.
The newspaper. Magazines. Children’s books. Nonfiction, history, social sciences… And yes, the novels I have always loved.
Reading Is Keeping Me Sane.
I’m currently reading Kate Atkinson’s latest in her Jackson Brodie series, Big Sky.
In between novels, I’m reading chapters of El infinito en un junco by Irene Vallejo. It’s a sweeping history of books themselves, the earliest written word and the first libraries.
What are you reading?
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