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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Reading

I love to read. I have always loved to read. But now I find it hard to read. Not so much because I can't find the time (I mean I could be reading instead of blogging or reading blogs) as I don't have the energy required to give myself, lose myself in a book. A good book, a really good book can captivate me and transport me and change me. Those are the books I love. The kind of books I now try to stay away from.

Instead I read chick lit, romance, anything that you can buy from a rack in a drug store. Books that are light and frothy. Books that I can pick up in a moment of calm and put down five minutes later when a kid wakes up, is tired of playing quietly or yells for something to eat. I read books that I don't care about or think about when I am away from them because I find I still need to read something. Anything.

Sometimes I feel like I am coming at reading from the wrong direction. Like I should have started with the light stuff and graduated to more "serious" fiction with age. Instead, as a teenager I only read dead authors. Usually classics. Preferably British. Then I went through a period of only reading mysteries. This included sub-periods of only women authors, only British authors and only women British authors. Now I choose books by colour. In a pinch I always grab the pink book.


Reading has always been my way of recharging. My quiet time. Just like how the girl likes to sit in her bed and read during the quiet time I force upon her in the afternoon so I can put the boy down for his nap. It lets me shut off my brain and run away into a different world in only for awhile.

Today I read a real book. No pink cover, no frothiness. I picked it up last night before bed and found myself reading it whenever I could today. I neglected the children and left them in the husband's care. I read and read and read. I thought about the book when I wasn't reading it. I cried when I finished it.

I am worn out. I don't have the stamina for books like that anymore. I am still tired and weary from months of sleepless nights and the energy it takes to care for these two kids of mine. So no more good books. Don't tell me about them, don't lend me a copy. But bring on the pink.

6 comments:

  1. And you're not going to tell me the name of the book? Are you kidding me?

    Signed, a book-reading, child-neglecting mama

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  2. I am a chick lit addict myself! And there have been times when I have pretty much neglected everything and everybody else just to read through a book in a whole day. I'm reading a pink one myself right now :)

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  3. I'm with Alison, I want to know which book it was! I still read "quality" fiction but it does take me ages and ages. I used to plow through a book a week but now it's more like two or three a year. I subsist on blogs and magazines in the meantime.

    My husband and I were just saying almost the same thing yesterday about movies. We'd rented Confessions of a Shopaholic and it was so formula, so predictable, so lighter-than-air. Still, we both found it was just the kind of thing we want these days -- totally mindless entertainment, nothing too emotional or gripping. Something to just clear our heads, help us relax, something we are totally willing to pause or turn off if any kid wakes up crying.

    I guess we'll return to the land of quality pop culture when the kids hit university :).

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  4. Oh how this describes my predicament! *thinks of book stack beside bed that needs dusting... again*

    I am a very happy romance reader, always have been (Its my escape, like my husbands escape with movies). But I also like to dig into fantasy and sci-fi series, and of course the classics. I used to re-read classics a lot.

    I don't read anymore either, and on the rare occasion that I do, its speed reading a fluffy, short Harlequin that takes a day to get through and pass off to my mother-in-law. I just don't have the emotional energy to give to a book right now. What I have left over at the end of the day is for my husband, and sometimes I don't even have enough for him. Like when I write, I invest my whole being into the characters and I will always find myself crying and laughing with them.

    Books on how to raise a toddler don't count, and five minutes of a book on writing that has taken me a year to get to the second section in the bathroom while I pee is not, in my opinion, reading.

    As an introvert, I love nothing more than picking a good book and steeping the day away, immersed in the pages, devouring the words, lost in the world. But with my son needing me more, the books wait. My recharge time is my work, these days.

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  5. I think literature somewhere between light fluffy chic lit and serious literature exists. They are things you want to read, but can put down and come back to! Sometimes it takes a little while to find that inbetween that you like.

    Sadly, I don't read as much as I should anymore (but developed a serious addiction to Vanity Fair magazine while home with the baby).

    While my husband and split parental leave we made a commitment to read as many of the books we own but haven't read yet. It worked well. I got a lot read in the first four months. When he was home he tackled some classics and not so classics.

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  6. I was reading The Time Traveler's Wife. Now I may have to watch the movie on the Internet.

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