I read a book

I say that like it’s an accomplishment. I read a book. I read my first book at about age 5; it was an accomplishment then.

But today, today still I feel like I did something grand, because the last time I read a book was, I dunno, last year maybe? Maybe just a couple books that whole year.

It’s crazy.

I am a reader. I am who I am because I am a reader. I do what I do for a living because I am a reader. I breathe. I sleep. I eat. I read. All with about equal ease and agility.

How can it be that I ever stopped reading?

I can blame it on moving to fixer-upperhood. I can blame it on failing eyesight and never having my glasses handy. I can blame it on the closest library having nowhere to park. I can blame it on HGTV. I can blame it on the 4 or 5 magazines I subscribe to. I can blame it on sitting in front of a computer all day and just wanting to turn my brain off at night. I can blame it on feeling like I’ll never find another book I love as much as the ones I already love.

I can blame it on a lot of things, but I can’t make sense of it. It appalls me. Scares me. I am a reader, dammit.

Except, sadly, I’m not anymore.

But maybe I will be again.

Last night I read a whole book.

Mike was out for the evening. I turned off the computer. I didn’t turn on the TV. I just curled up on the couch. Pulled a blanket over me. And read. And all the while, I thought, “I’m reading a book!” Like I had just discovered penicillin or something. It made me giddy.

I liked the book so much that today I mailed it to my sister. She’ll probably think, “Why did she send me this? It’s OK, but…”

She won’t understand that in it I discovered a long lost friend. No, more like a twin. Or a child. Or some part of me that I lost.

I had forgotten how good it felt. How wonderful it was to be carried away by someone else’s words…to live in their world for a while instead of my own.

It’s a feeling I won’t forget.

I am a reader…again.

This nice and subtle happiness of reading, this joy not chilled by age,
this polite and unpunished vice, this selfish, serene life-long intoxication.
~ Logan Pearsall Smith