I suffer no bibliophobia but my mom would twitch in her grave

 I suffer no bibliophobia but my mom would twitch in her grave 

I am going to admit to something that will probably cause my mom to twitch in her grave. Well, do those that are cremated proverbially twitch in their graves? Either way, she will be aghast at my next admission.  Sadly and despairingly so, I have not read a full book this past year. I do not know how that happened. My mom instilled in me from a very early age a love of reading. It was an escape route from the everyday drudgery of living in fear and poverty. She would take her little red shopping cart, head over to the local library and take out about ten books a week for us. Namely, more so for me. I started off with Little Women and Catcher in the Rye and never stopped.  Until now.

All through boarding school, college and my doctorate I read both school-based items and tons of books just for pleasure.  How did I get to this low point in my life?  I look at this past year and realize it was a horrific year in terms of work load.  I worked hard to not let work interfere with bonding moments with my son and we had many adventures and travels together. However, not once did I treat myself to a book this year. Sure, I read magazines and some research articles so that I could stay abreast of the latest findings and advancements in my field.   Now there are those out there that suffer from bibliophobia which is something no one had in my house growing up. It can be broadly defined as the fear of books or fear of reading.  One may say that this current generation growing up may in the long term some to suffer from bibliophobia considering how everything now is technology-focused. Which is why my son has over 100 books in his room.  We want to make sure he never comes to suffer from bibliophobia or be proud of not reading which is a certain type of person that I have come across in the workplace from time to time.   Yet, while I read books with him and the latest was Flat Stanley (a 1964 children’s book written by Jeff Brown), I do not necessarily count those as my own reading books.

Every week, I read Entertainment Weekly and the last section or so includes their latest book recommendations. I dog-ear the page and then move on.  Sure, I would love to read Gone Girl or Not that Kind of Girl or I am Malala.  I just have not found the time to read and I am running out of space at home for any more books. As a matter of fact a few weeks back, I got rid of about 100 books in my upstairs bedroom-don’t worry I have about 1,000 more at home- we could not find a single used book store to which to donate our books.  Now while I have not read a single whole book this year, there are also less and less bookstores around anymore.

My mom would cry at this turn of events in our society. She always had a book in hand or nearby. She surely gave her reading glasses a good workout.  She read everything from science fiction to non-fiction to poetry.  She instilled that love of reading in me.  I cannot help but feel like she would disapprove of this situation in which I find myself.  Her birthday is coming up in three weeks. Perhaps as part of the celestial birthday celebration where I go buy little Debbie cakes and lay out some of her other favorite things in her honor, I should go buy a book and try to read it that day.  I know that upon seeing me pick up and read a book on that day, she will feel that I carry her legacy on and she will smile.

Now what book can I get that is a real page turner that I can finish in a day?


11 replies »

  1. I love reading books, but finding the time is quite difficult these days. I’ve been reading autobiographies of late, of some of my favorite personalities. Finding some of them was difficult, like Groucho and Johnny Cash. Anyway, as far as a page turner, I’m thinking of revisiting The Hot Zone, due to events in the news these days.


  2. I’ve had periods of time like that. I can’t say a year, but when we moved into this house, the getting situated and fixing up took over, and I went about 4 months without reading a proper book. Sounds like you could use at least a weekend of relaxation. I hope you’ll get one.


  3. Hi Mimi,
    I can relate. Reading was a major past time in our house growing up. But for some reason, my life is so busy, that when I find time to read I feel compelled to read academic books. Why? Why do I not feel it’s ok to take a few minutes out and just ENJOY reading something fun?? I do enjoy learning and there was a time when I was unable to read because of “ocular migraines” so it was audio books only. But, I know I “should” and I do want to read for pleasure. I guess I could work on giving myself a break and indulge a bit. And don’t we learn from play, relaxing and letting our grey matter rest? So many ideas are sparked from something we read and apply later.
    What do you think?
    I really enjoy your posts. You do a good job of being interesting, intelligent and relate-able. Your mother was lucky to have you as a daughter because you recognize the gift you were given, and celebrating her memory buried in a book, might just make her dance in her grave. 🙂


  4. Mimi, it must rip you apart to not have the opportunity to complete a book, but these times always come.
    Read ‘Gone Girl’ – couldn’t put the rotten thing down. It freaked me out and I hated every minute of it but still read it to the end and wanted more after it was finished.
    It’s one of those type of books that have a fatal attraction, like playing with spiders because the are cute.
    I don’t see any ‘Pooh Bear’ books on your shelves. Perhaps a little book of ‘Pooh’ might just be the thing to get you the satisfaction without the effort.
    Pooh is a little bit like choosing an espresso over a latte’, short, sharp and hits the spot. Where the latte’ looks great and has an attraction that cannot be denied, but when it’s all said and done, is just fluffy and ends up being cold and too much.
    Loved the improbability of ashes being capable of twitching. Respectful and funny.B


  5. My bathroom is also known as the reading room. Just a thought, passed down from my late father, for you to try. You might at least be able to finish one book a year that way. Otherwise, like me, you’ll probably have to wait until retirement to even start to catch up. Since your son has a good library and is hopefully a good reader, here’s another idea for you based on my similar experiences. I’m starting to read the books my kids left behind when they moved out!


  6. Our house is packed to the rafters with books and that includes boxes and boxes of books in the roof. UNfortunately, I don’t seem to be as much of a reader of books as a collector of books. I always have the best intentions but the day disappears way too quickly. Indeed, the day goes up in smoke. I started the first of the Harry Potter books months ago, and I overhead my daughter telling her friend how long it’s taken me to read it. She made me sound like Simple Simon because reading Harry Potter as quickly as possible seems to bring bragging rights. I was enjoying the book too but then school went back and I’ve been trying to organize the home front and do my writing. I guess this must make me a Harry Potter fail. Oh well.
    xx Rowena


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