Earlier this week I read a spectacular blog post by a friend of mine called Zara. (You can read it here). In the post she talks about how important books and words are for her and how they’ve impacted her life, especially as she has recently been diagnosed with Autism. And the post made me look at my own life and how books have helped me.
I’ve always been a lover of books. For as long as I could remember I had my nose stuck in books. From Roald Dahl to Jacqueline Wilson to Karen McCombie to R.L. Stine to Lucy Daniels to J.K. Rowling to Cecelia Ahern to Jodi Picoult to Linwood Barclay. One book after another after another. Diving from one story to the next. I feel lost without the comfort of my books.
When I was a young child until my teens, I read every single night before bed. Devouring the words on the pages as quickly as I could and escaping into fictional worlds that were different and more exotic than my own. Eventually I started reading at other times of the day too. At breaks in school and at work, on the bus, whenever I got a few minutes spare. I would rather dive into a story then sit and think about my life.
And today I do the same thing. But I also don’t. It’s a difficult balance now. There are times when I want to read, so I decide to take the bus or the train rather than drive or walk and then open my phone and end up playing a game or scrolling through twitter because it’s easier than opening my book and exiting the world.
For once in my life, I sometimes find myself rooting my mind in reality. And it has caused a great deal of confusion. Because I am also struggling with life too. So I should want to just escape from it all, surely? And yet I don’t. No matter how much I itch to read, something always seems to stop me.
Once upon a time I would have classed this as a “reading slump”. But now I am trying to embrace it because maybe it means that there is something in the real world that I want to enjoy. Maybe not escaping into a book could actually, somehow be a good thing.
I guess only time will tell. But I am certainly going to try to turn this negative into a positive. Life is already too hard without feeling guilty for not reading a book.