When I was younger, I devoured books. I read so fast, I could finish two or three hundred paged books on plane flights. Reading inspired me to write. I started writing stories when I was eight or nine years old. This love of reading and writing has followed me throughout my life. I claim the title “writer” even though I haven’t written much for fun lately. I claim to prefer books to movies even though I hadn’t finished a book in ages.
I finally finished a book recently, a few weeks ago, for the first time in ages. One I couldn’t put down. One that I picked up in all my free time, instead of streaming something on Twitch, or binging YouTube videos. It was a romance novel. I’ve always loved romance. I have a blog post actually, about being a hopeless romantic you can read it here. It feels like eons since I wrote that though. But I am. I’m a hopeless romantic. And that gives me unrealistic expectations about everything. I want to live a life like the lives in the books I read in childhood and adolescence. It just makes me feel like life should be more than internet bills and blue light glasses.
When you read poetry and prose it highlights the beauty in life. It showcases the facets of love and loss and joy and pain. When you live life there’s a lot more mundane moments. Not to say that you can’t find beauty in the mundane… or less find it and more create it.
Anyways, all this to say, reading and writing again leaves me feeling melancholy. This happened to me a lot as a child. I would look up from a book and be somewhat surprised to be just sitting at the lunch table at school or riding in carpool with a friend. Books are supposed to transport you out of the mundane. But I want to live a life that I don’t have to escape from. I want to find the poetry in the every day. So now that I’m reading again, I have to again remind myself when I stop that I’m not in the fantasy world I’m reading about.
Books also sometimes create a world better than the one we live in. The last book I read made me cry because the ending imagined a better world than what we have. I guess that’s the beauty of them, but again just hammers home the heart-breaking inevitability of your eventual return to reality.
In conclusion, while I’m overjoyed to have found a home in reading again (writing we’re still working on). At the end of the day it really just makes me want to run away into nature and spend my days sipping coffee and gazing wistfully out the window and writing poetry like the poets from the 18th and 19th centuries. Here’s looking at you, William Wordsworth.
I hope one day to write a book as beautiful and transporting as the ones I read. But for now, have this blog post.