I know this is not new, but I’ve recently been reminded about how amazing reading is. I used to read all the time as a kid. Ok, I was a chubby dork, but still, I loved to read. About 6 months ago I picked up an old book as reread Like Water For Chocolate (rated-R – I do not recommend this for young girls, so don’t tell you mom I did). It was so amazing to have a part of me reopened, like lifting the latch on a musty attic. I hadn’t realised how long it had been since my creative emotions were stirred and in turn how that had lead to my lack of writing inspiration for about 5 years.
I think I can pinpoint my lack of reading to just about the time my daughter was born. Even at the time of her birth, I was participating in a distance learning program trying to finally earn my BA (my mother likes to joke that I’m trying to cram 4 years of education into 20 years!) OK mom, I get it. Anyway, as an English major with an emphasis in creative writing, being a new mom gave me zero time to read or write. I can remember the last story I wrote and suddenly my muse disappeared, scared off by lack of sleep and my eye lids couldn’t stay open to read another novel. Motherhood is great, but seriously, if you’re a creative person, it all but sucks you dry the first few years – it did me at least.
So, last year I picked up an amazing book and let the emotions roam musty corners. Since then, it’s been one book after another. I’m spending all my extra time (that means curling up on the sofa next to husband while he watches Dodgers games every evening) reading. I stay up late reading. I read while my kids are in the bath. And the most amazing part – my kids are falling in love with books. We are at the library once or twice a week and they are earning free burgers from In-n-Out through library programs. This Monday, my daughter is going to join a library program reading to companion dogs. Ok, I thought that was weird too – a dog – but they need learn to be quiet companions and my daughter wants to become a better reader – so great combination. My son will actually sit and listen to me read a few books before grabbing a toy car and running over the pages, interrupting me. After all, he’s still working on being a little boy – important stuff.
So, I did finally finish The Host– rough first 250 pages, but good – not Twilight good, but good. I’m just finishing up A Thousand Splendid Suns (historical fiction) about two women and their lives in Afghanistan. It’s amazing and painful – I have cried so much reading it. The life of the younger women parallels my birth year to the present and it is eye opening to see what she endured compared to what I have lived. Very humbling.
So if you are not, you need to open a book and read. It takes you on a journey both elsewhere and into the inner workings of your heart.