Things have changed. Big things, small things. In the last 6 months there has been so much changed in my life that the last 5 years seem like they took place in some alternate reality that just doesn’t exist any more. Life is different, and in a lot of ways I am too and for the most part, that’s a good thing.
But there’s another bit too. Something changed or ended without me realising it was happening. And I want it back.
I stopped reading.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I sort of lost interest and or motivation in reading, or maybe I just fell out of the habit. In the last 5 months I’ve started about a dozen novels, each with the intention to get back into the habit. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to read, I just haven’t been able to stay in the zone.
I’m a night reader, before bed and for as long as I can remember, bed time has meant a couple of hours of indulgent reading before sleep. But for the last little while, I’ve been so darned exhausted by the time I eventually do get to bed, I flick a couple of pages, at best, and then the book hits me in the face as I fall asleep. By the following night, I’ve totally forgotten anything I read the day before. Most definitely NOT how books are meant to be consumed.
Reading, like most things in life, is a habit. I was/am out of the habit. I didn’t want to be one of those people who say “I’d love to [insert activity here] but I just don’t have the time]” and I most assuredly didn’t want to be a “I used to read, but now I just can’t remember the last time I read a book” person – so I’ve recently started enforced reading time and while it sometimes feels like reading for school all over again, it’s really working.
I thought short stories might have been the answer to something non-committal, so I started taking a volume of Murakami shorts to bed. All well and good – I did read and love them all (it was Murakami after all) but I was still missing the experience of total immersion that only a novel provides. After a few false starts with books that just weren’t cutting it in any attention grabbing kind of way, I’ve finally been hooked back into the pages by Douglas Coupland’s Generation A.
More than I’m enjoying the book, which is actually really good – smart, funny, unique and easy to read – I’m loving being back into the reading zone and am getting this odd sense of accomplishment from it.
Not sure if it’s a coincidence or just the time to start getting back into things, but I’ve also taken up the fiction reigns again. For anyone who looks at any of my other websites (or this one) and noticed a significant drop of in regular posts lately, yes, this is where my words are going (the words I’m not getting paid to write anyway). Writers need to read, and maybe that link has been reforged. Anyways. More on my triumphant return to fiction writing later.