I am Bookworm, Hear Me Roar!

I’m usually proud of how much I read. To friends, family, and any passing acquaintance, I like to flaunt my numbers. You’ll often hear me brag that I average 80 books a year and I’ve got the book blog to back up my statement. For the most part, non-readers are impressed or at least they pretend to be in my face. Sometimes they get snippy. Once my cousin proclaimed that my reading was a waste of time. In response, I smacked said cousin upside the head with the book I had on hand and my only regret was that it was a paperback and not a 1,000+ page hardback. Let this be a lesson to one and all: you hurt my books, I hurt you.

As much as I marinate in the awesomeness of my favorite hobby, comments like “reading is a waste of time” or “I don’t read because I don’t have that kind of time” or “I don’t read because I have better things to do” puts me on the defensive. In all likelihood, the speaker didn’t mean anything harmful, nevertheless, I’m secretly thinking, “Are you implying that I have nothing better to do?”

While I’m used to such remarks jabbing me from all directions, I’m usually able to shrug it off. My love of reading is like an impenetrable fortress and the fact that I want to write to publish one day is even more justification for my excessive reading habits. But every once in a while, a snide remark slips through the cracks and pierces at my very core. You’d probably recall (or not) that earlier this year I tried to cull the amount of time I spent on reading and use that time to break out of my cloistered existence and get a life. So I’ve lived life and what did I conclude? I’d rather read.

Being without a book for even a week has made me realize how much I depend on fiction to color my reality. Perhaps I even use books as a respite from reality. But when I was bookless and miserable, I saw that my reality was a bleak and barren place; the only way I could force myself to stand it was through spinning brightly colored images in my head, and these images I derived from stories. Okay, I’m the first to admit that I walk through life like a sleepwalker with a big gossamer veil over my eyes but that’s the way I prefer it … for now.

The fact that I seem to have an endless amount of time to read comes about from forgoing television, sleep, conventional cooking, and sometimes social outings in order to accommodate my passion. It may seem incomprehensible to some that I would choose to stay in and read rather than go out and have fun. But I think reading is thrilling!  In fact, I’d much rather prefer a quiet night with a book and a cup of hot chocolate to a night at the club.  I am a bookworm, I am an Emily Dickinsonesque homebody, and I’m proud of it.

This post topic was inspired by Nymeth’s fantastic Making Time to Read post.

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11 thoughts on “I am Bookworm, Hear Me Roar!

  1. I’m bookmarking this blog post.

    Well said and well-written. I will often get comments about “You’ve got too much time on your hands” as well – not only for reading (which I do copious amounts of) but crafting and blogging as well.

    I wish I had more time to do these things. People just don’t get it.

    “You have to do stuff that average people don’t understand because those are the only good things” – Andy Warhol

    le sigh.

  2. I remember your break from reading. Your goal was only to read the very best and toss aside those you felt were only mediocre. I am so glad you gave up on that, by the way.

    I used to read so much more when I was younger. I used to carry two books on me at all times, just in case I finished one. And everything you write reminds me so much of myself, except for just one thing. I am just as addicted to television shows as I am to reading. I have to now balance an abundance of addicting tv, reading, working, house work, and my 6 year old daughter. I do get it all in, but it means that it may take me two weeks to finish a book.

    I actually stopped reading for a really long time. I was so busy with day-to-day crap that I let that fall to the wayside, then one day I was sitting on my couch and I realized that I was sad. (Not pathetic, actually unhappy). Going without reading had made me depressed. So I made time to fit it back in to my life. Now I never leave home without a book. I read on every work break. If I’m at home it comes with me into each bathroom trip. I read while I cook, on commercials…

    I look at people who don’t read and feel sorrow for them. I told my husband that it is my lifes goal to get him to read 1 book, just one.

    I guess this was lengthy, but I think you hit on something that makes alot of us passionate.

  3. It seriously drives me crazy when people tell me that THEY don’t have TIME to read, like I must have so much extra time on my hands because I FIND the time to read. Everybody has priorities with their time – mine just happens to be reading. Whenever I have an extra minute I grab my book. It’s not that I have more time to laze around on the couch eating bon-bons and reading my book!
    Sorry about the rant – stepping down off my soapbox now!

  4. “I’d much rather prefer a quiet night with a book and a cup of hot chocolate to a night at the club. I am a bookworm, I am an Emily Dickinsonesque homebody, and I’m proud of it.”

    You and me both 🙂 I think that next time, I’ll try your smacking-the-person-with-the-book-I’m-reading approach 😛

  5. Reading and books are reliable friends that you can always count on.

    Just yesterday, PG&E had turned off the power in my apartment to do some maintanence work. What did I do w/o electricity, or Internet access? I read of course! And I read for a good 2 hours before heading off to work. Usually I spend my mornings glued to Facebook playing some trivial Zynga game. It was actually nice to pull myself away from technology and have fun the old-school way.

    If reading is a waste of time…then what is surfing the Internet considered?

  6. This post, and you, make me so happy. I always say that the single best way to improve yourself (with drastically successful results) is to read and read voraciously. It makes you smarter in a number of ways, not to mention expands your imagination, augments your compassion, and widens your perspective. I can’t think of many better ways to spend an afternoon (or a day/night/week/month) than reading a book. I personally bring a book everywhere I go (I even brought one to prom in my clutch, and, lo and behold, needed it, because prom was such a bore) and often sleep with books, especially ones I regard fondly after having finish them.

    Never stop reading and never let anyone tell you that you should! You and your blog are an inspiration.

  7. I’m so with you — and feel like I could have written this post myself!

    Entering into a new relationship recently, I’ve found myself with way — WAY — less time to read than normal because, you know, I’m hanging out with the boyfriend… smooching and what have you. (Okay, too much information! I’ll stop right there!)

    Recently, I was chatting with a friend about my lack of reading time — and how it was depressing me. I love my books. I need my books. A world without a story just isn’t a world to me.

    “Are you seriously suggesting that you would rather stay home and read then hang out with your hot new boyfriend?” my friend asked, fixing me with a seriously evil eye.

    And then I felt like crap.

    Because no, I wouldn’t always rather read then hang out with the hot boyfriend, but… sometimes?

    Yes, yes I would. I’d rather stay home and read than do pretty much anything. And God help anyone who stands in my way!

  8. A secret: I’d rather stay in, too. I’ve got an important dinner thing tonight (with my new flatmate, to hash out all the details and meet her partner and all that), but I keep thinking about how I want to reed P.G. Wodehouse. I mean, I know it’ll be fun once I’m there, but I’m giving up my book time, and that makes me sad. 😦

  9. You wrote so many kickass blog posts while I was exiled from blogosphere! 😀 This one has me grinning from ear to ear.

  10. my husband drives me crazy about my reading.. but only when he can’t find anything to watch on tv.. it’s really bad right now because all i want to do is continue reading the outlander series (i’m on book 3) but there are no sports/shows on tv to interest him, so he’s constantly trying to annoy me about reading. sigh.

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