It’s that time again. Resolutions, or for the more succinct, word of the year. For a while, I tried this One Word business, but like resolutions, they rarely stuck.
This year, I figured out something better. Something more attainable and infinitely more fun.
Let’s backtrack here for a moment to a dark and terribly grim time in my life:
The time when I didn’t read.
It’s hard to even imagine, I know. The concept of not-reading goes against every grain of book loving fiber in my body, and yet, it happened. You may guess what inspired this temporary hiatus. Babies.
Of course. Those sweet little life sucking cherubs!
But it didn’t happen all at once. My reading slowed, as one might expect, but I soon discovered reading-while-nursing. And this was before iPhones, or at least, before I had an iPhone.
Imagine the scenario: You’re stuck on a couch or a bed or a chair nursing a baby. A dull glaze quickly settles over you, often accompanied by a rabid restlessness. Without social media as a crutch, I relied on books. I’m talking about actual bound books, printed with ink, and on paper! No digital readers for me, not then or now.
But once my youngest was up and mobile, my reading time collapsed. With two young kids to wrangle, feed, entertain, and nap, I had little time or energy for much else. Like any drug, the withdrawal hurt the most in the beginning, and the longer I went without, the less I craved it. Or at least, that’s the lie I told myself.
If you ask me how long this hiatus lasted for, I couldn’t give you a precise timeline. It was over a year, perhaps a little more than two. I remember scanning the shelves of our local library in Brooklyn (circa 2013) for my own stash after toddler story time.
It was a loss, though. Truly. Not having my most trusted and loyal companions, especially during such lonely time as new motherhood, was rough.
My appetite for books has only increased since then, perhaps making up for those lost years. For example, in 2016, when I decided to write a memoir, I spent an entire year reading memoir and craft books almost exclusively. Emerging from that haze, I returned ravenous for fiction, and now I read both, often at the same time.
Some recent sample pairings:
One of my favorite, and embarrassingly recent, discoveries is the library. Curiously enough, I didn’t grow up with a library habit. My mother took me to bookstores, and while I appreciate her desire to support local businesses, I sometimes wonder why we didn’t take advantage of free (free!) libraries. Maybe it was because she couldn’t afford books as a child, and this was her way of splurging, but regardless, it took many years for me to fall in love with libraries.
But once I fell, I fell hard.
It can be a bit of a problem. Over checking out. Over requesting. But it’s a problem I’m grateful to have.
So, after that rather long preamble, what are my book goals for 2019?
Actually, it’s pretty simple. Keep reading.
But I would like to keep better track of what I read. If anyone has an app they love, please let me know! I’m not interested in anything fancy or complicated, just a simple way to look back and easily recall, since my brain no longer allows such luxuries.
Happy New Year my fellow readers, and of course, happy reading!