In the last several months I’ve cut way back on social media and found myself very lonely. The loneliness sometimes leads to depression, which isn’t good, but what is good is the fact I’m now back into reading and writing.
I find I now look forward to bedtime, not because I have time to mindlessly scroll through social media without feeling guilty that I should be spending time with my family instead, or not because my old age makes me want to sleep more. Now I look forward to bedtime because I can escape into a good book before sleep. In fact, thanks to the diminutive appearance of my Kindle I can escape into a good book almost anywhere.
I can not tell a lie – I feel a bit of a rush of rebellion when I stay up late with a book and I know it’s because of all the nights I spent with my head under the covers with a flashlight so Mom wouldn’t catch me up reading pass my bedtime. To this day I still feel the urge to pull the covers up over my head when reading a book after midnight. I realize I probably need therapy. My mom wasn’t against reading, in fact she read so much it’s probably why I have a love for it, but she was against me being very tired for school the next day because I had been up too late reading.
Rekindling (pun intended) my love for reading is almost entirely a good thing. Still, it does have its’ drawbacks.
First, there is the fact I often stay up too late when I’m caught up in a good book and pay for it the next day when grogginess causes me to forget to turn on the stove to cook dinner or that I put the dog out an hour ago. Much to my chagrin, I have to admit my mom was right about that needing sleep thing.
Then there is the fact reading, much like blogging and writing short stories, is yet another way for me to procrastinate cleaning the house, folding laundry, loading the dishwasher or feeding my children. Why are kids always so hungry anyhow?
Another drawback to returning to the love of reading is the reminder of how stupid I really am because I have to keep highlighting words in the Kindle dictionary to learn the meaning of them. Truthfully, I could skip the word and keep going but since that nifty dictionary feature is already built into the Kindle it seems a shame to let it go to waste the same way I apparently let my brain go to waste.
Then there is the drawback to being able to look up words with the tap and slide of a finger: realizing you’re not only stupid for not knowing words but also because you keep trying to tap and highlight words when you are reading an actual, hard copy of a book.
Yet another drawback is when a book either is too exciting or jumps the shark and leaves me laying there in the dark all pissed off, tossing and turning, fuming, writing letters of disgust in my head to the writer. I was recently in the midst of a very well written Christian fiction book when it went off the rails into fantasy territory and I was left all theologically pissed off because miracles don’t happen like that in real life. So there I laid lost in deep thoughts about why we don’t see miracles today, instead of accepting that it’s JUST A BOOK! Hello! I decided then I needed to read less theological books before bed, instead focusing on books like The Cat Who… books or The Mitford series.
Despite the disadvantages to becoming a voracious reader again, I’m glad to have a way to escape from both the mundane boredom of my own life and the insanely, way too exciting events of the world around me. Currently, I’m switching between a Cat Who book by Lillian Jackson Braum ( a series of books about a newspaper reporter and his crime-solving Siamese cats) and the fifth book of the Mitford series by Jan Karon.
How about you? In the midst of any books you are using to avoid the responsibilities of life?
To read more from some readers who read more and write more about what they read, you can click over to Readerbuzz’s Sunday Salon on her blog, or on Facebook.