In many ways, my relationship with books is new. I have always read, but it wasn’t really until the past few years that I began to decide to have a personal relationship with books. Before, in graduation school and before that, books were something that came with the territory.
They were given, assigned, and talked about, thought about on the terms of someone else. Now, in my life, there is no one there to make me read. So if I am to read, I must decide it for myself. I decide upon it and must commit to reading in the evening and morning hours because it’s something I want to do, something I need to do.
So, I do read. In my third pregnancy, I think I read a book every week. I did this by making reading the thing I did whenever I could. I did this by choosing to pick up titles on the way to storytime for my toddlers and by deciding that the story worlds captured, usually, so beautiful in my novels and memoirs was something worth having in my imagination and in my life.
I like books. Hardcovers with thick paper pages. I like their smell. I like to look at them and place notes in them.
I like that they can be picked up at will, that they want and need nothing from me and have no expectations.
Even with bland story lines, I like to finish my books, to close them and put them on a shelf. I do this because, if nothing else they offer a departure from my real life as a mother.
I like that they don’t bother my children and that when they see their mom read they get a chance to see me doing something that is for me, something I’d like for them someday, too.
Right now I’m reading “Ambulance Girl” by Jane Stern. I had a baby last week, so finding the time and energy to pick it up an read it has been tough, but I am getting through the chapters, bit by bit. What are you reading? What have you read that you would recommend?