I read too much and that got dark fast
September 15, 2013 Leave a comment
“God, I wish I read as much as you do.” I hear it on a regular basis. Friends, colleagues, strangers on the internet. Everybody says the same thing.
And I’m always a little confused. I guess I never thought that I read all that much.
I mean, I get through 50 pages on a good commute, and I might spend 30 minutes with a book on a work night before turning off the light. But even I am susceptible to the ridiculous internet addiction that seems to be plaguing the world these days. Now, more often than not, I spend that last 30 minutes before I put out the light scrolling through Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook. I’m almost ashamed to admit it.
I always have good intentions. I’m going to put my phone down in just a second and pick up that book I’ve been reading for the last few days or weeks or months. I’m going to take another stab at Murakami’s 1Q84 which I still haven’t finished over a year later. I’m going to get on with my reread of Emma because that is how excited I am about Emma Approved coming to an interweb near you in the near future. (But really. I AM SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED.) But I never do. Regardless of my good intentions, I find myself looking at the time an hour later and realizing that I have to get up in a few hours, and jeez, I really should go to sleep or I’m just going to hate myself when the alarm goes off. My light is flipped off before I get to crack a spine or read a word. I guess I still get a lot more reading done than other people my age. I devour a book or two a week – sometimes more if I’m on a roll or in a zone or some other crazy metaphor you want to make that equates with sports or another extracurricular activity I am not familiar with at this point in my life – or ever if we’re being honest.
Reading a lot, which I’m told I do, isn’t actually hard.
Obviously, when I say “just do it” I am not saying that men and women with small children and absolutely NO time to do anything but care for those children should be finding the free time I do. I mean, I get it. I do. But at the same time – as a single, free-of-responsibility kind of adult – it’s second nature to me. I’m noticing more and more that other people don’t do it the way I do. No one else has integrated books, reading and literary pursuits into their daily lives the way that I do.
Frankly, at this point, unless I’m talking to someone I already know is a heavy reader like me, I don’t ask what they’re reading as an ice breaker. It won’t be greeted positively. The last few times I have done so I’ve been met with blank stares.
The blank stares make me more sad than anything else.
“I haven’t read a book since someone made me read a book for a class” used to be the most common response I got.” I just don’t have time to read” was another.
And then I talk to my nerdy friends and they say the same thing, and I start to wonder if I’m some sort of freak.
It’s middle school all over again. I can’t possibly read as much as you all think I read. And it can’t possibly be more than you read yourself, right? RIGHT?
I’m not actually reading entire libraries at a time. Half the time, I’m nose-deep in a book I’ve already read once or twice because I fall that much in love with a good character or a good writer. There are so many new releases that I just never get around to. Is it really just that I have more free time than the parents and paired up single folk. Others watch Housewives of Orange County and I read antiquated literature because I think it’s fun.
Others have lives where they connect with the rest of the world and have relationships and boyfriends, and futures.
Wow that got dark fast.