Where have all the books gone?

by Ginger on November 6, 2008

in Becoming Myself, The 9-5

I’ve been a bookworm since I was about 4 or 5, when my grandmother taught me to read. My parents were divorcing/had just gotten divorced, and even at that early age, books became a retreat. A place where I could disappear into other worlds, other lives.

Over time, my love of books only grew. Growing up, I was more than happy to read rather than play, watch tv, ride my bike. Not that I didn’t do those things, of course I did, but books were like crack to me. I would read at the dinner table, the breakfast table, during class, during recess, in the car, at lunch, after dinner, while watching tv. Well, you get the point.

Friends and family have all teased me because I can get so caught up in a book that I don’t notice what’s going on around me, conversations people try to start with me, etc. My husband is still amazed sometimes that I can sit in one spot for hours, completely absorbed by one book.

Books have long been my friends, my escape, a place for me. Whether it’s chick lit, literary fiction, classics, memoirs, non-fiction, books have always sustained me. I’ve been known to read between 2 and 5 books a week, in large part because I crave that escape that they provide.

So it’s one of the saddest paradoxes of my life that when my work life is in turmoil, I turn away from books. My reading habits can speak volumes about what my state of mind is about my job. Because I work in publishing, when everything starts to get the better of me, my personal books become part of the problem. When I’m dealing with books all day long and I’m unhappy doing so, I can’t sit down and enjoy them anymore.

I haven’t read a book in 4 months.

Tough GIrl 101 November 7, 2008 at 6:59 am

I try to read for an hour every night before I go to bed. When I’m angry or anxious, I can’t get myself to calm down enouh to actually sit and read without ruminating. I can’t get “into” a book if something else is running through my head. So I think I kinda get what you’re saying here!

Katherine November 7, 2008 at 9:07 am

Certainly don’t go to law school then. The idea of sitting down and holding a book repulsed me for years. Still have problems with it even now.

Ally November 7, 2008 at 9:50 am

I am the exact same way! It seems like sometimes reading takes a backburner even though I love it. I’m with Tough Girl: when my mind is otherwise occupied, it’s difficult to focus.

mebeingrandom November 12, 2008 at 11:36 am

I know exactly how you feel. I go months sometimes without picking up a book, but then one day, I’ll pick up a book, and for the next 6 months or so, I’ve got my nose stuck in one every time you look at me. It really is amazing how you can just read a book and escape the real world!

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