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.