There is a scene in Modern Family (possibly in the very first episode, in fact), in which Phil has convinced a reluctant Claire to race him. He’s talking excitedly about how totally awesome this race will be, and how terrified Claire must be of losing. Then the camera turns to Claire, who just stares at it resignedly and sighs, “I just want to read.”
I laughed out loud when I first saw that scene, because it basically summed up my whole life. Right now, for instance, everyone is running around getting psyched up about OMGCHRISTMAS and WRAPPING GIFTS and … I don’t know, drinking mulled wine or whatever. Me, on the other hand?
I just want to read.
For as long as I can remember, books have been my solace. I was one of those kids who would trail around the supermarket after her parents, unable to see where she was going because of the book held inches from her nose. The kind of kid who would happily go out and play with her friends (I, er, DID have some friends…), but who would secretly be looking forward to coming home and curling up with a novel. There was no smell better than that of a giant stack of new library books; no sound I’d rather hear than the soft thump of the librarian stamping them before handing them over, with all of their exciting new worlds tucked inside them. My teachers always described me as a “voracious reader”: a description I liked because it made me sound like some wild, book-eating animal. I imagined myself in a cage, passers-by watching wide-eyed as I tore at a pile of books with my sharp little teeth, breaking their spines with a snap.
I stayed that way throughout my childhood and teenage years, all the way through university (I studied English Literature purely because it would allow me to read even MOAR BOOKS, and call it “work”), and into the first few years of my “proper” adult life. Over the last few years, however, I’ve noticed that reading has become less something that’s as natural and necessary as breathing, and more of a stolen luxury, indulged in infrequently. There just never seems to be time any more. I’m sure my fellow small business owners (and probably everyone else too, to be honest) will relate to the feeling that you need to be ALWAYS working, and perhaps the only downside I’ve found of working from home (Well, other than the fact that no one believes you’re actually working, of course…) is the guilt that radiates from the glowing laptop screen any time you try to step away from it and do something else.
This week, though (and last week too, actually), I’ve been doing a lot of reading. In fact, I’ve not been doing much else. It’s been a rough couple of weeks, for various reasons, (nothing to worry about, just a random collection of things that would be only mildly stressful on their own, but which decided to all arrive at once: awesome!),and I’ve been dealing with it by doing the bare minimum of my tasks for the day and then retreating to my room with a huge mug of coffee and my Kindle.
That’s not the only reason for the lack of posts lately (It hasn’t stopped raining since my last post, and it’s so dark and overcast all the time it’s like a permanent twilight. The actual twilight, I mean, not the books/movies. A permanent Twilight really WOULD be scary…), but it is one of the reasons, and it’s also one of the reasons I probably won’t be around much over the next few days. As luck would have it, however, I don’t expect many of YOU will either, because the holiday season is looming and most people I know seem to be finishing up work today or tomorrow, so I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a very happy holiday if you’re celebrating it and, well, a very happy next few days if you’re not.
Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be in my room with a good book…