Somewhere towards the end of the year I found myself slipping down the tunnel that was fast turning me into the reluctant book-shirker. Reluctant because I wasn’t happy doing it, and yet I was shirking the books in favour of work on my hands. I started off the year with incredible resolve to bring my reading habit back on track and even though in the end, I did way better than I imagined I would, and I fast surpassed the list I had made for myself, somehow over the weeks of incessant activity, distraction and preoccupation of the last few months of the year, I lost it.
I am not the kind of person who can read in the empty pockets of time between things. I wish I was, because I have several such pockets. What I don’t have are the endless hours to spare. Because I am the sort of reader that craves lengthy hours spent in the company of a book. I relish lazy afternoon reading, I love a book that keeps me up at night, and I am the sort of person that can abandon all plans if a really good book comes along, because I am willing to dedicate entire days, weekends and everything in between to it.
This year, I want to treat my reading better. Make time for it, rather than try and fit it into empty moments. Have a vague plan, run with it, rather than be bound by a list. And just do it, rather than wait for it to happen.
I have a few pending titles from my ever-expanding list for 2013. And I’ve always closely stalked the reading reccos that MM and The Bride make, so I am usually never the person asking what shall I read now?” I also stopped buying books at the start of last year, in an attempt to get reading the ones I have piled up over the years. Let it be known that I am something of a hoarder and am well-stocked and good to go for a while. As if that wasn’t enough, MinCat gave me her massive collection of ebooks too! And then I have my eye on this list, which seemed like a good thing to try and knock off in my 30s, seeing as how I have read an abysmal six titles in my 20s. I’m turning the big 3-oh in May, so now seems like a good time to start, no?
So I’m going to resume writing about books I’ve read that make me want to say something. I haven’t done that in a long time, because honestly it was hard enough finding time to finish a book, writing about it was asking for a bit much.
There are days when I want to just stop doing things — waiting editors, hungry husband, antsy clients be damned! — and just hit pause, sit down, read. It’s at times like those that I wish I had never let go of the habit. Because I wouldn’t have to cultivate it all over again. On days when I crave going back to being the book-guzzler I was while growing up, before rubbish like boys, alcohol and college began to take precedence over all else, I think of the ever-growing list in that little text edit file, and I look at my life, and quickly realise it is entirely possible now, more than it has ever been before. Like I said, I just need to treat reading with a little more respect. Make time and do it. Because I do love a good book, I prefer to turn pages than flick channels and even now, I pick up a book over everything else, on a vacant day. I never was one of those bookworms that was never spotted without a book, but the conscious reading I invested my time in over the last year has kindled a really deep need to make it a part of my life again. So maybe I am just a late bloomer.