Becoming Reacquainted with an Old Friend

I’ve recently started a new activity on Fridays. I can’t call it a habit yet, but it is getting there. Brace yourself: I go to the local branch of the public library and check out books.

You were expecting something more exciting? Like Zumba? Hardly! I’d make a fool of myself. It started innocently one weekday when I went to the Fresh Market in the same strip mall for lunch (because i’m apparently a sucker for over-priced salads made with quality ingredients) and then walked to the library to visit because I was feeling nostalgic and frankly, not ready to return to work. I wandered through fiction and non-fiction sections, caressed a few books but left without checking out anything.

A few weeks later, I returned, both to the library and the Fresh Market (lunch time!). I left the library empty-handed, but I had looked up a few books in the catalog. I had talked myself out of checking out anything because the library had shortened its period of checkout, and it was difficult to find time to read. Time to read.

I used to read tons of books but had become used to maybe reading 10-15 books a year instead of the 80-100 it had been in the past. I had also started reading more books on my iPad since I could keep them forever, and it was so darn easy to click the button and have almost any book I wanted immediately.

I miss reading. It’s not like there aren’t (m)any books in my house, but it is difficult to settle down and focus, to give a book my full attention. It has become a lot easier to digest articles, quick reads and 140 characters. My mind is always on the millions of tasks to do and I am less able to shut it off. Is this being an adult? What’s that line about putting away childish things?

The next time I visited to the library, I took the plunge and checked out a book. And I read it and returned it on time! Subsequent books were returned a tad bit (OK a lot) late, but I figure my late fees are a sort of civic duty in a time when budgets are shrinking. Right? I keep checking out books and finding time to read them. I finished one on the plane Monday and started another. It feels good not to feel like a stranger to the library. And oddly, I’ve read more downloaded books too in the last couple of months. We know that writing begets writing; does it work the same way for reading?

Maybe I’m back on the way to reading 100 books. Not this year but maybe the next.

This is not the post I thought I was going to write tonight. I apologize if it seems a little silky. I’m trying to write on the iPad, and it makes it difficult to get out my thought. Or maybe it’s Mercury Retrograde mucking things up.

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9 comments

  1. I love to read! But I rarely find the time any longer. I’ve was listening to audiobooks from the library on my walks though, maybe I should again. I spend so much time blogging, reading blogs, and keeping house in addition to me two jobs, I gave no idea how a mom has time! Kudos to you!

  2. Yay for reading! Getting more books to ready, from anywhere, is definitely exciting! What books did you check out? Did you like them? anything to recommend?

    I am an avid reader! I almost always have at least 2-3 or more books going on at once. I love being able to have some on my phone to read while my boy is going to sleep and the light needs to be out. On the bus trip to/from work I also take some time to read (almost 30 min each way), either paper or electronic.

    And yes, I do suppose reading begets more reading. 🙂

  3. Another yay for reading!
    Since I got a kindle paperwhite (da bomb!), my reading went way up. What I mean is I read two Outlander paper books in six months, and the rest five books of the series within five months. Also A Song of Ice and Fire in another five months. Plus other ‘small change’ books (singles, between 200-500 pages, peanuts compared to the tomes in series). I have finally gotten my reading mojo back! And it feels ever so nice. Sure, I miss paper books sometimes, and it comes as a surprise, considering I never thought I would trade paper for electronic, but there it is, irefutable proof that convenience wins any time.
    So, what books have you read lately?

  4. Love reading, and the library saves me lots and lots of money (even when I pay thos elate fees, which I agree I pay cheerfully). My library system allows you to do a lot online, including renew books which has minimized those fees, for those books that sit on my night table gathering dust because I feel too tired to read, again.

  5. Goodreads!! That is the way to go. It takes awhile to build up friends and build up lists but my reading has gotten back to pre-kid levels with Goodreads. I’ve read 77 books so far this year, and I would definitely say my hit rate on books has substantially improved (how many I love / how many I didn’t love).

  6. I love-love-love libraries and checking out books. I put myself on a sort of hiatus for NaBloPoMo, but I’m already missing my local branch. 🙂 Kudos to you for making a tradition out of it!

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