I don't know (entirely) why, but for the first time in many years, this has not been a reading year.
It is not the Year of the Book.
I went to Goodwill on my lunch break today, and bought five books. One will be a gift, one is an adult nonfiction read, the remaining three young adult fiction.
I bought a memoir on Amazon this morning.
Normally these would be pored over at the ripe hour of 8 p.m., as I lie on my belly in the gooseneck lamplight, Max sprawled nearby, quietly licking.
Today the books will likely go on my shelf, instead.
I'm not sure why, but I just highly doubt I will read tonight. Or tomorrow or the next.
I look forward to it, with great gusto that creates a gurgling in my tummy, but I know it won't be soon.
It's very strange, not reading. But such has been my life for the majority of 2015.
I'm "fine" with it, in that I don't feel an aching need to read at present. But rather like a teenage girl who prowled the mall for years and suddenly lost interest, I look backward at my shelf lined with memoirs and kid books and think, "Hmm. Isn't that interesting that I'm no longer clamoring?"
One could say I'm distracted. I cross stitch often. I live with someone now. I have the cutest cat in the land, who requires much petting and being stared at.
Perhaps it's simply a shift in the routine. I used to read out of joy, certainly, but also as a means to fall asleep. Lately I seem to sleep just fine, no book needed to get me there. I count this a win, as for years I suffered from miserable insomnia.
(Honestly, I wake up several times a night, but it doesn't aggravate me too much and I slink right back into slumber most of the time).
Maybe, on some subconscious level of myself, I'm trying on a new me. Seeing what it's like to skip reading for a while.
I do know that I fell in love this year.
That throws one out of whack.
I started hanging out with his friends in addition to mine, so my social calendar has, in a way, doubled.
He works late, which makes me stay up late, and at the end of our hanging out time I am ready to crash.
These things all are true.
But I wonder where the ache went? Where the insatiable need to take in letters on a page wandered off to? Will it return? I presume it will, probably right when I have a teething infant, and God will lovingly chuckle at me from above.
It's so strange how powerful it is to read, considering that written language was invented. Spoken language is natural, of course. But the need to write, to read, to get things just right in these words that we've come up with over time and, specifically, to consume them from a piece of paper...
Is it not?
I think it is.
I love it, don't get me wrong. It's my profession, my calling, my (once) #1 hobby. But it's so strange, when I really stop and contemplate it. It's like when you say a word -- or your name -- too many times and it suddenly sounds so foreign that you actually have to cover your ears and have the urge to yell: "Don't say it again!"
And then you give it enough time and the word sounds normal again.
And when I give myself enough distance from over analyzing anything, be it my profession or what have you, it all seems normal, fluid, again.
And maybe one of these days soon I'll be reading again, and all will be normal, fluid. Reading was so very much a part of me that I kind of wonder who I am without it. Which again brings us back to:
In any case, I can't wait to get my hands on Into the Wild, On Writing, Pippi Longstocking, Orphan Train, and 11 Birthdays, when the time is right. My future bedtime date with them promises to be lovely, I'm sure. Perhaps all that more sweet after our time apart. And maybe I'll be a new girl, when I meet again with those inky strands of letters that so mysteriously capture our hearts.