Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Only Book I Feel Like Reading

Man, it’s been forever since I updated, but September was a crazy month. My three-year old started school, my husband was all over the world, I had lots of freelancing work to do (yay!), and I had to adjust (am still adjusting) to a completely different work schedule.

Perhaps because September was so stressful, I experienced a sensation that I have only felt once or twice before in my life: I didn’t feel like reading.

For those who know me, this is a huge deal – perhaps even unthinkable. I’m someone who won’t buy a purse, no matter how fashionable, if I can’t fit a small paperback into it. I panic if I go on holiday and I think I haven’t brought along enough books. My husband says, not entirely with admiration, that I’m addicted to books.

I’m beginning to think he’s right because even though I didn’t feel like reading last month, I still craved it. I didn’t want to but I had to read. It was weird. I would climb into bed at night, wanting nothing more than to go to sleep, but instead of punching my pillow and turning the lights off, I’d find myself looking through the books on my nightstand (which is actually a full-sized bookcase), feeling distressed because absolutely nothing appealed to me and yet I knew I needed something.

The book that finally appeased my soul was this: Harry Potter. Any of ‘em. All of ‘em. (Well, except the last).

Why Harry Potter? After giving it some thought, here’s what I figured out: the reason I didn’t feel like reading was because reading had become work. I couldn’t read a magazine without thinking of topics that I might pitch. I couldn’t read a non-fiction book without thinking about my own non-fiction WIP that so desperately needs my attention. I couldn’t read a fiction book without analyzing sentence structure, character development, the author’s word choice, or fretting about when I will ever have time for fiction again.

But when reading Harry Potter, all of that fell away. Not only is Harry Potter’s world a wonderful place in which to spend time, the JK Rowling story is one that warms the heart of any writer. I’m sure you know the tale: a depressed single-mom, down on her luck, comes up with an idea about a boy wizard while stuck on a train, writes the book, is rejected 12 times, but eventually finds and publisher and goes on to become the first writer billionaire. I love it! Reading the books with this in mind, all I felt was pleasure and inspiration. Just the thing a tired mom needs.

October is shaping up to be just as busy as September and I’m probably going to finish re-re-re-reading the Harry Potter series in the next week or so. Does anyone have another suggestion for a good book to read when you really don’t feel like reading?

It's not for myself that I'm asking. It's for a....friend.

4 comments:

  1. I agree that it's good to get in some leisure reading without having to 'think'. I love the Harry Potter books too- they never seem to get old. Besides, what better way to feed the imagination?

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  2. Hi Rachel - yep, I love that HP doesn't make me "think"... but it doesn't make me feel brain-dead either.

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  3. It's so important to read something light and fun to recharge for inspiration (or motivation). I recently read "Olive Kitteridge" and found myself in that beloved state of book-addiction - where I couldn't put it down. I loved every minute of that book and it felt good to read something other than my twitter feed (*ashamed*). It still made me think but I was transported into the life of someone else for a change, and that was priceless.

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  4. Oooh, that sounds good, Lindsey! Don't you just love it when you're so completely in another world? I'll be picking up that book!

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