I’ve spoken of this before, Gentle Reader, but as it’s going on over two years now, I want to speak of it again.
Reading for pleasure has become problematic for me.
I don’t think I can explain how hard it was to write that sentence, to say those words, because reading, for me, is life. So much so, I’ve created a career around it. As I tell my students, I have three skills: reading, writing, and baking bread. I’ve managed to make a career out of two of them.
I still read for school, certainly. Reading for class is never a problem. But since my Mother died in 2014, I have had such a terrible experience reading non-school books. It’s as if part of me feels like I’m cheating on my grief for my mother by escaping into a novel.
And you must understand: I started reading at four, and never stopped. I would fall asleep with books on my face, my mother would say. I would get in trouble for bringing books to dinner. I would have a book, two books, sometimes three, in case I finished one, with me at all times. I am A Reader, and I was a very proud one for so long.
Now I read books and get 20, 30% through an online book, or a 1/3 of the way through a paper book, and I stall. I can’t finish. I’m in the middle of about ten books right now, all excellent, well-written and well-thought-out books, and I can’t finish any of them. I used to devour books in a night. Now, I go three, four weeks before I finish even one.
It HURTS, Friends. It is literally PAINFUL to not read. I don’t know what to do with myself when I’m not reading. I work, or I Facebook Forever, or I wander around, lost. But I cannot bring myself to just SIT and READ. And I don’t know what to do anymore.