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?