This past weekend, I got lost in a good book. And it was like coming home to a long-lost friend.
The past 4-5 months prior to this weekend, I hadn’t so much as touched anything but my Bible. Now, reading that is always a noble pursuit, but I used to love getting lost in a book. I can still remember the hours as a pre-teen and teen when I would lay in my bed and devour a whole series in as little time as a few days. I remember countless nights where I would stay up until 2 or 3am, hiding out in the bathroom or under the covers, trying to just finish one more chapter. I wouldn’t be able to keep my eyes open for one more second, but I would push my way through just to find out what would happen next.
It was those nights, those stories, that inspired me to be a writer, get my degree in creative writing, and put the dream of writing my own book in my heart.
But something happened after college. It didn’t happen right away, but gradually. My first real job was at a publishing company where I would have to review manuscripts, edit, and proofread submitted books for publication. And 95% of the books I worked on I thought were terrible. I went straight from that 9-5 to my second job in retail, where I would work the closing shift until 11pm. During those days, I would still try to fit books into my weekends and spare time, but it was a lot less frequent considering the hours I spent reading for my job every day.
In 2013, I moved to my job with The Salvation Army: the next year I got engaged and started planning a wedding, after that I went through a time of serious depression where all I did was sleep and watch TV when I would get home at night. By the grace of God, it’s been almost two years since then, but all of those things lead to the final product of my current situation: a girl who barely reads and frequently forgets to write.
Wednesday, my husband and I were home with a snow day. As my dear husband sat typing emails on his computer and mother nature was dumping 12+ inches outside, I went into our small office and started looking through the shelves. There are a lot of books there that I’ve read, but others that I’ve picked up at flea markets and sales through the years that I had yet to touch. I browsed our shelves and found “Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister” by Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked, which is truly one of my favorite books. I pushed off the nagging voice in my head that told me I have an unfinished book on my nightstand (as much as I love Alexander Hamilton, his biography has been a pain to get through), and I took the book into my bedroom. With a warm cup of coco, the blankets around me, and the window shades open so I could watch the snow, I started reading.
That decision began 5 days of reading every moment that I could, which was actually very hard since I had a work event over the weekend. “Confessions” was very interesting and exactly my kind of favorite read: it made me realize how much I love getting lost in a good story and how much I despise myself after an evening of little-to-no brain activity (ahem, TV). I was engaged and desperate for the next sentence; totally immersed and involved in the little world of Holland and the young stepsisters of Clara, or as she told them to call her, Cinderella.
If you haven’t picked up a book lately, I would encourage you: turn off the damn television (that soul-less mind sucker) and pick up a book. Yes, I did still spend time catching up on MasterChef Junior this evening, but now I plan to get a nice cup of tea, and make my way into my room to start Maquire’s “Mirror, Mirror.”
Book suggestions greatly appreciated!