I love books. Always have, always will. But after two months of struggling to finish a novel (Mills and Boons do not count) I had to face the fact that something was not quite right. I had gone from the 13-year old who finished Anne Frank in 2 days (It took so long only because my parents refused to let me stay up all night) to the 24 year old who could barely manage to finish one book in 2 months. How could I, the voracious reader, the lover of all things word, the multiple library-cards holder, find reading so difficult?
But during the week I spent grieving over my apparent loss of a life skill, I observed that I was still reading. It just wasn’t ‘between-the-covers, stopping-to-smell-the-pages’ kind of reading I was used to. I was now reading a whole lot of articles and blogs.
A lot of blogs.
In the era of 140-character attention spans, you really cannot dismiss the fact that one is willing to read 1000-word articles made of pixels. I’ll take it, I decided. If, for now I’m more of an article reader than a full-fledged novel reader, then I’m going to be okay with it. As long as it involves words, I’ll take it.
Articles are basically short, fascinating stories that are delightful to read and reveal another person’s view of the world. And I enjoy them. So I decided to change my statement from “I love books” to “ I love reading”, and live with it. Besides, I know that this is temporary. I know that I will never, ever be able to get over my love for books. This kind of love is the lifetime variety. That itch to escape into the pages of a story and cut all ties with the world will strike again. Soon, and hard. But in the meantime, I’m surviving/thriving on a healthy dose of articles and essays from the web. In case you would like to indulge in some good old article reading, here are a few I would recommend:
1) The shut-in economy: In the new world of on-demand everything, you’re either pampered, isolated royalty — or your’e a 21st century servant
2) Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors: Are you afraid of spiders or was great-great-grandma Jane afraid of them. Fascinating.
3) If Shakespeare wrote pop songs: Doth know not what wonders awaits you yonder. Do thyself a favour and pray, read this.
4) How to be polite: Minding your Ps and Qs and saying your thank yous, my friend, is a lost art.
5) Top 10 opinions of 2013: If you have not figured out by now, Time magazine loves lists. And at the end of the year, their list making obsession goes into overdrive- like a list of the 10 top opinions. Lucky us!
The reluctant writer.