I have recently rediscovered an old love – reading.
I never lost my love of reading per se, I simply forgot about it. I stopped giving it my full attention, and it sort of dwindled into almost nothingness.
Reading was something I picked up again last year as a form of self-care. I would take my book to work and read it on my break and that was pretty much it, because at home I had more important things to do such as binge-watch shows on Netflix that barely held my attention.
I began to think that maybe it was just the book I was reading. Or rather, the series. I have restarted the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, a high fantasy series comprised of 14 books of incredible length (averaging at 800 pages each). Maybe it wasn’t the book, but rather the attention I was giving it. 20 minutes 3 days a week isn’t much at all, and it began to drag because I wasn’t getting anywhere. I don’t know whether it was something about the fourth book that drew me in again, or whether my mindset had changed, I started making more time for my reading, and got hooked again.
My plan had been to read something different when I finished book 4, because I didn’t want to spend the entire year reading one series. Those last few pages really gripped me though, and the thought of picking up a new storyline quite simply made me cringe. So here I am, with The Fires of Heaven (book 5) within easy reach.
This love is truly an old flame that will never fully die. It’s not just that I enjoy spending time with books, I need them to keep me sane. They offer a form of escapism that cannot fully be achieved any other way – not with tv, film or game. Believe me, I’ve tried all three! I can literally sit down in the morning with a book and not realise how much time is passing until my stomach starts rumbling and I realised I’ve missed lunch and it’s getting dark outside. Or at least, I could in the old days – having a toddler makes that impossible now!
It’s a love that grips my chest and squeezes it so tight that it’s hard to breathe. A love that makes me panic when I’ve misplaced it and I need to find out what happens next. A love that keeps me up into the early (and sometimes not so early!) hours of the morning, unable to sleep because I just need to read one more page…one more chapter. Oh look, there’s only a couple of chapters left, I might as well just finish it.
It is beyond my comprehension when people tell me they don’t read, or that they find it boring. I honestly pity those people, because they will never be able to fully experience new worlds and adventures. They will never find themselves inconsolable because the character they had fallen in love with (platonically or no) had come across some hardship or experienced complete joy. They will never experience that emptiness that happens when you finish a book that you have become so involved in that you no longer know what to do with yourself. Perhaps it seems to some that I should envy them…they will never experience that hardship and heartache. But to me, that just means they haven’t fully lived.
What’s the love of your life? The one thing you could do over and over?