As you can notice by the title, I’m exploiting another way I’m jumping on the bandwagon of yesterday’s post, my longest post to date to proclaim the passing of a new year of life.
This change isn’t as noteworthy, but it’s something I have particularly enjoyed, and that is reading. Since probably high school, I have not consistently read a book. Just for pleasure. Taking the time to choose a physical book and just read.
Admitting that disgusts me. I have always loved reading. I didn’t originally want to be an English major just because. But even when I did read when I was younger, I always stuck to the same kinds of books. Nancy Drew? Hardy Boys? Agatha Christie? I’m down.
Now that I’ve had the time to really devote to a hobby of sorts, I had the urge to buy a book. If I could manage reading from an e-reader or computer, I would in a heartbeat knowing that it’d be much better for the environment, but I just can’t, probably a big reason why I haven’t read while in college. It’s not exactly practical to carry around a bunch of novels with you when having to worry about packing up for dorm life.
Other activities, priorities, and life in general have gotten in the way from reading. When asking for gifts, I gravitated toward clothes and makeup. When I had a spare moment from the hustle and bustle of activities and schoolwork, I chose to surf the web or watch TV. Before I go to bed and when I wake in the morning, I’ve adopted the not-so great habit of scrolling aimlessly through social media. Reading seems like a pastime that requires a major chunk of time, that once you start a book, everything else takes the backseat until it’s read from cover to cover.
I actually started reading during winter break. As the only person in the house most days, no job necessarily to go to, I began gravitating again toward books. It had been so long since I had really asked for books, so I had absolutely no idea what to even ask for, what authors are good, anything. Now I can’t imagine how I went so long without it incorporated into my day. If you were to ask me of any set number of books I want to read this year, I wouldn’t know. I’d like to be surprised at the end of the year by how large of a theoretical stack I have collected. It feels as if I’ve missed out for so long that I’m finally now catching up.
I didn’t plan to include reading as any sort of goal or resolution for the year, but it’s something I’ve easily adopted into my routine here. Every day, no matter how much time I have, I read. Gratefully (for now), I don’t have everyday work to keep up with beyond this blog, so whenever I get back from class or even in between classes, I have noticed myself wanting to pick up a book than a phone. It’s made me notice even more how many people are spending their times with their noses glued to their phones in any spare moment, something I want to avoid for myself as much as possible.
My desire to read has been lying dormant, just recently waking up, starving for more books. Having the motivation to long for reading is important to me, when I’ve spent so long not having any interest in anything whatsoever, it gives me hope. Now if I’m feeling low, even if I have to force myself to do it, if I have a good book in my hand, it makes me feel more accomplished. And just within the first two weeks I’ve been in Canada, I’ll have finished four novels, a big deal for someone who hasn’t read consistently in so long. I didn’t expect to budget out money I’d be spending on books, since the library here is strictly academic, but here I am, worrying about where I can get the best deal on books.
A fun sustainable note: in the downtown area in Lennoxville, a cute little place called Black Cat Books is a used book store, something I’ve never been to before. From floor to ceiling, books are stacked high, gently used and needing a home. If you’re like me and want to be as environmentally conscious as possible but still crave some traditional norms, like physical copies of books, this is an amazing find. Obviously other thrift stores have book sections, but to have something so quaint randomly close by to my college is fantastic. Not to mention, they’re cheaper than new copies, too. Who knows what new discoveries I’ll encounter.
This change in my life just seems appropriate, it feels right, especially as I look toward the future. If I do decide to go to graduate school, it would be for a publishing program. I want immerse myself in a world where I can read for a living, where I can help others achieve their dreams, and hopefully make the connections to achieve my own as an aspiring writer, the ultimate goal. But learning more about the middle ground of the industry in charge of the process is important.
Obviously not everybody is a fan of reading. But everybody needs that spark in their lives, an activity or hobby that truly brings you joy, and scrolling through your phone for the millionth time won’t do that. It truly is the simple pleasures in life that make it worth living.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie