Where I’ve been.
Look, I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t the most prolific of book bloggers. Hell, I was easily bottom of the barrel as far as views went. But, like a lot of us, I don’t blog for the readership numbers. I blogged about books because of how much I love reading. How much a good story could drag me in, nestle in my heart, and stay there for a few hours or a few days.
So why did I stop reviewing? I could easily spin some bullshit excuse about how life got busy, and I didn’t have time to commit to it. But, in actuality, I stopped reading. Why would I stop reading, you might ask. Well, it all started 10 1/2 months ago when my father died.
I was 28 when my mother called me and told me that my father had had a heart attack, driven himself to the hospital (typical), and was in the ER. I’ll spare you the details of my family going through varying stages of emotion, but within 72 hours (seriously..? wow that’s insane), my father had passed away after a triple bypass surgery that he had never really woken up from. The shock was immeasurable. Dad was a giant of a man, but, more to the point, he was where I developed a love and a passion for reading. Growing up in my house was wonderful because both my parents filled our lives with books. Movies, games, ect were harder to get our parents to buy, but my sister and I could always count on our parents splurging on some books for us. Dad taught English at a local Jesuit high school since before I was born. Which mostly translated to my being the only 9 year old I knew who had read Dune by Frank Herbert, various William Faulkner short stories, and was trudging her way through Moby Dick.
So how does this have any bearing whatsoever on why I stopped reading? I quickly discovered that reading, my once glorious escape from the world and the demons in my head, was causing me pain. Every time I tried to read I would think of Dad and break down. It didn’t take long for me to stop trying all-together. My husband tried encouraging me to just pick up books and start, to no avail. My best friend then decided that not reading was no longer an option. He took it into his own hands and said if I wouldn’t read to myself then I would read to him. Over the next few months I slowly read him Pride & Prejudice over the phone/discord. Not only did it help my slump, but it was a way for him and I to keep in contact while he was away at school. And when I really didn’t feel up for reading my books, he would read to me. Together we worked our way through P&P, several volumes of The Sandman Graphic Novels, and a good chunk of book 4 or 5 in The Expanse series.
I don’t think he’ll ever really understand how much of an impact these read-togethers had on my soul. To an outside observer, my inability to really read might have not been that odd. But, for me, it was like I was in a constant fog. It took ages to me to realize the true problem I was having with books. My imagination was gone. 90% of what I would read fell in the Fantasy and/or Science Fiction genre. As one might imagine, reading books that fell in that category is somewhat difficult if you do not possess the ability to create that world in your head. When my father died, my ability to fantasize about other world died along with him. Or at least went into a long slumber. Reading with my best friend slowly brought that part of me back to life. I will always treasure those moments with him, and I know we will continue the tradition for many years to come.
So, now where am I? Well, I still live an insanely busy life in the theatre world. But I still managed to read 3 books in the last week. Although, to be fair, a good part of that probably has to do with my being sick for the last 48 hours. But, I enjoy reading again. Contemporary is easier for me to do on my own, since the world is already built in the one I live in. But I just burned through Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff in a day, so I’m hoping that is a shard of light. Hopefully I can get a review up for it in the next day or so, unless I wait and do a full trilogy review.
I’m not even sure if anyone will read this. But, like I said, I’m doing this for me. And this girl wants to get her nose back in a book.