This past month, I found myself revisiting one of my lifelong pleasures more than usual – reading. I’ve always loved reading, but the older I’ve gotten, the less time I’ve dedicated to it.
As a child, I read voraciously. I secretly read fiction books under my desk during math class, read from my seat on the school bus, even read into the early morning hours of the day when I should have been sleeping. Reading was the classic escape, a way to numb my mind to the anxiety that my life dealt me. In the most difficult years, I skipped class a couple times, hiding in the library to read, either unnoticed or understood by the school librarian.
When I grew older, reading became more difficult as I found it increasingly hard to focus. It was no longer a cure for anxiety, and I would find myself reading the same page over and over, not comprehending. For a long time, it felt like I’d lost my gift for reading, a part of myself.
Happily, that issue was temporary. I’ve regained my ability to concentrate as an adult, although I don’t typically devote as much time to reading as I would like. That’s why, when COVID life started lending me more downtime than normal, I naturally turned to reading again.
I’m reading much more than I have in the last few years. Without many social activities available, I am reaching for books more often on the quiet weekend afternoons. Weeknights, after work, I am reading before going to sleep, finding it a good way to relax and clear my mind a little.
I signed up for the Book of the Month, which gives you a handful of newly released titles each month to choose from for $14.99. I’m not a huge fan of online shopping, but I do look forward to my monthly book arriving in the mailbox (and the packaging is minimal, basically a small cardboard box, which I – and the environment – appreciate).
My friends and I are still doing our virtual book club. This past month we read Gods of Jade and Shadow which I’ve been raving about to anyone who will listen. Silvia Moreno-Garcia has a gorgeous writing style that is full of metaphors and symbolism, and I found myself eager to finish the book when I had spare moments in the day.
Once again, I’ve found myself thankful for my ability to read, grateful for all the talented writers out there in the world, and inspired by the stories I’ve experienced.
Are you catching up on your “To-Be-Read” pile? Do you have any COVID-times book recommendations? Leave me a message in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!