I had always been a reader. Thing is I can't remember when I stopped.
I'd sit with a books for hours, as a kid, even into adulthood. I know this to be true by the boxes of books still sitting in my old bedroom at my dad's house. Books I will probably never look at again. Books I should have given away but for one reason or another couldn't seem to part with "those" books specifically.
There's the teen romance, the harlequin, the book about teen suicide, the pop star unauthorized biographies and books on writing.
It's been years since I've sat engrossed in a book and that, gives me major anxiety. Anxiety because I'm too anxious to sit that long without feeling I should be "doing something for crying out loud!" With the reality of life, i.e. a day job, a family (even without kids can be extremely busy), and my own attempt to finish editing my own novel--hell, even blogging once in a blue moon--sitting for any great length of time and just reading is a luxury I did not think I could or should be able to afford.
Over the last two years I have a lots of starts and stops with books. It took me four months to finish the (goddamn) Goldfinch novel, and I have several 20% to 40% completed books sitting in Goodreads that would occasionally taunt me. I would lose interest so easily with some of them (see: novel that needs to be done comment) and it was becoming this looming task. As a writer, I should also be reading!
Okay, I realize there are people out there struggling with life threatening situations, but let's keep it light, right? I realize this is not the end of the world but I needed to attack this.
I am not one to start something and not finish as evidenced by any bag of cookies, Netflix series, or occasional box of candies that crosses my threshold. The fact that there were seven...SEVEN...unfinished books on my Goodreads account made me think something had to be done.
And damn you, Netflix. You've made it so easy to just pick something and let the box in front of me do all the work. I love you but we need a break. When I cracked open Miami Vice earlier in the week I knew I was doomed. Five seasons ahead of me...FIVE, that's over 80 hours of television I watched back when I was 16 years old. What possibly would 110 episodes of Don Johnson in pink do for me that it hasn't already done to make me the person I am? Sorry Don, you'll have to wait.
So I started in on the first book on my list.
It was one I'd had saved in my iPad after briefly meeting the author online a few years ago. Cat Devon's Sleeping with the Entity. A fun vampire romance about a cupcake shop owner and a Vampire Diaries' Damon-esque vampire. Cat's real name is Cathie Linz and she's written over 50 contemporary romance novels--she also passed away this year on March 7th. I felt I owed it to myself to read hers first and I am so glad I did. It was a quick read and I hope to read more of hers but honestly, if that isn't a kick in the pants. Life is so fleeting, best I turn off that stupid big TV and get to work, no?
I moved from that book to two others and finished them. I was feeling pretty proud of myself. What to read next? So many choices! 149 books on my Kindle app, so many lined up on shelves of my home office, and dear lord, there's always the library. I have half a mind to go to Barnes & Noble! You see, I am a fan of the actual book in my hand experience versus the Kindle (despite the 149 books I just admitted to owning).
So I feel like I've returned to an old love now. The dogs are happy because mommy is sitting still for hours on the couch, my brain is happy because I am using it for a change (even if it's not writing my novel, that will come in time), and I feel like I have nothing but time now that I've turned off the TV, turned on the lovely background music and poured myself a cup of tea/glass of wine (sometimes both).
I hope you all get a chance to read this weekend, not because you feel you have to or because you're embarrassed by what you like to read (um, you should see my shelves), but because the experience of the reader is such a personal journey in one's mind, it's not to be missed.