Reconnecting With An Old Friend

I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I’d picked up a book until I finally did last week.  I had ordered The Walking Dead Compendium, Volume 1, because I had become obsessed about knowing more about Michonne, a character that was introduced briefly in the season finale.  Volume 1 contains the first 48 episodes of the comic, whereas the television show is only up to number 6, I believe.  I wanted to know more.  I ploughed through all 1,088 pages in three evenings (which is not that difficult to do when it’s a giant comic book – both because it was completely engrossing and because some pages have maybe 10 words) and that was all it took.  Then, on Wednesday, I was home sick (as in an oogly tummy, as opposed to homesick) and wasn’t in the mood to watch television (because daytime tv is terrifying) or a movie (I’d probably seen them all already anyway), so I grabbed a book I’d started in the summer.  I think I started it in the summer.  May have been earlier than that.  But I picked it up and immediately realized how much I missed it.  The feel of paper in my hands, being able to curl up anywhere, getting lost in a whole different world for hours on end.  Even the cramp I get in my pinkie finger thanks to the odd way I hold a book open.  All of it.  I missed all of it.  And it just took a bunch of zombies to make me realize this.

And all the while, I forgot about the internet.  I checked my email twice over the six days I was home this weekend.  I don’t remember if I checked Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest.  I didn’t check my blog stats or read anything from my feedreader.  I didn’t even check the news.  I made lunch for my kids, partook in a variety of Easter festivities, watched a few recorded television shows, and broke up a couple dozen fights between siblings, but every moment I could steal (and moments grew to hours), I was consumed by a story.

I am, by no means, a fast reader.  My eyes wander, I’m constantly interrupted, I often get caught up in a thought, all of which impedes my progress.  I’ve never understood how those who can speed read are able to completely absorb the story.  How do you get lost in a world created by words if you’re sprinting through at break-neck speed?  I need to take my time, to let every phrase sink deep, to pause and re-read that which grabs my attention, or to work through confusion.  Not that I don’t believe that fast readers are also able to do that; it’s just that I do those things at a much more leisurely pace.  It’s not a race.  Unless it was, then I’d concede defeat.

My book shelf at home is full, with books neatly arranged in alphabetical order, by author, but I have so many that I’ve had to start piling them on top of the neat rows.  I like to own the books I read, as opposed to borrowing from the library or other people, so they add up.  There are 24 books that I have yet to read and they’ve been accumulating, thanks to the months I’ve gone without finishing a single one.  This weekend I read The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon, Heart Of The Matter by Emily Giffin, and I’m on page 364 of The Book Of Negroes by Lawrence Hill.  The middle book was disappointing, the first was positively enlightening, and I am absolutely engrossed in the third.  I want to be reading it right now, actually, and I can’t wait for my lunch break when I can squeeze in a dozen or so pages.

I really, really missed reading and I vow to not neglect my books for so long ever again.  That will probably mean more time away from the internet.  However, that is something I am fully prepared to do.


12 thoughts on “Reconnecting With An Old Friend

  1. I really liked the Curious Incident. And Heart of the Matter seems familiar. What was it about? It was on the 100 best novels of the 20th century, wasn’t it?

    I’ve also been neglecting my old book friends. I still listen to audiobooks during my work commutes but it’s not really the same.

    • There’s a book called THE Heart Of The Matter that you may be thinking about. Heart Of The Matter is by the writer who penned Something Borrowed, which was turned into a movie last year. Heart Of The Matter is about infidelity, written from the perspective of the mistress and the wife.

  2. Amen. I devour books, mostly while I’m on the exercise bike or the toilet, but I still value the actual written word in my hand a million times more than a screen. Time spent with your nose in a book is never time wasted, that’s for sure.

  3. I have had the Curious Incident on my reading list for years now, and have never gotten a copy. Clearly I need to move it up the list and stop neglecting it.

  4. Ugh…I’m SO with you on this one. I love reading! And every time I read a good book it makes my insides feel better. Funny how I love reading novels so much, but my brain doesn’t seem to want to write one. Sticking with blogging and screenwriting for the moment, but I hope that changes in the future.

  5. Yeah buddy. Reading is the business, lol. Sometimes (like right now) I have two on the go. One for serious sit down reading time (right now it’s Three Cups of Tea) and one for baths and falling asleep in bed (usually something light and written for “chicks”). Next you need to do the hunger games (which will take you about a day) or if something more serious is up your alley, I just read Sarah’s Key, which was really good.

  6. You’ve totally just described my reading habits… I’ll go months with nothing, then I’ll devour a few books at once. I’ve read all three you mentioned and totally agree with your reviews! Have you read the Ami McKay books? The Birth House and The Virgin Cure- both great and highly recommended!

  7. I’ve been a voracious reader since before I can remember, and while I slowed down when I had kids, reading was still one of my biggest passtimes. When my husband left last summer, I sort of shut down on reading and I’ve only just started to regain my momentum. I can’t for the life of me figure out why I would have ever given up on my first love, but I’m very happy that I found it again so quickly.

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