On Reading


I love/hate to read. In other words, I go through phases. I’ll devour six books in a few weeks, then I won’t read anything for days, weeks, even months. Depends on my mood.

Reading drains me and fills me. Starting a new book is like starting a relationship, and I hate that. I hate meeting new people. I automatically hate new people because hating them means I don’t have to get to know them. And that’s just easier. (Is this an introvert problem? Please say yes.)

Finishing a book is like saying goodbye to my new best friend, the one I grew to love once I decided to stop hating him/her. I hate saying goodbye. I avoid it at all costs, and sometimes the cost is complete awkwardness. Oh, you want a hug? How about we just say see you soon and pretend like this isn’t the end? Uh, here we go, cue the awkward hug. I hate goodbyes.

Reading before bed is my favorite but it’s also the worst. It’s the coziest thing ever but I hate having the lights on. Lights make things feel hot and I like to be cold before bed. I need to be cold so I can cuddle into the layers of my cotton heaven. And I refuse to read off screens. Ugh. I read Pride and Prejudice on my phone in Thailand when I had no other choice and I still feel like those words are burned onto my corneas. It is a truth universally acknowledged that paper books are better than metal and glass ones. Amen.

I like to read multiple books at the same time. Serial reading. It’s how I do my friends too. One at a time but a few in rotation. Lunch with one, afternoon in the park with another. I’m talking about friends, not books. I can’t read in public places. Megan hates that. I live in denial some weekends and grab a book on our way out the door. I’m going to read this time, I tell myself. I never do. My reading must be done in privacy. (Read that with a British accent because it makes me sound sophisticated.)

I just finished The Dinner by Herman Koch during my lunch break and The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown last weekend. Both were depressing and fascinating and funny  — just how I like ’em. Right now, I’m rotating between a new set: Tables in the Wilderness by Preston Yancey, Yes Please by Amy Poehler and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling.

I have some older friends, too. We haven’t talked in a while but they’re still on my nightstand: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Laud Montgomery. They’re charming, really, we’re just in different places right now. We still like each other.

I’m telling you this because I want to read. I’ve been looking at these books for about an hour trying to decide which to open. These kinds of decisions are the worst. Allotting my free time. It’s precious, you know. I think I’ve made it, though — my decision. Amy! No, wait, Preston, or Mindy. Ugh. Maybe I should just watch Netflix.

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