The Need To Read

Lately I have felt a nearly insatiable need to read. It started at the end of last year. 2015 was winding down and, as I am sure many people do, I was reflecting upon my accomplishments for the year. I had made headway in the revisions of my novel, I had run my first (and most likely last) 5K, but most importantly I had survived my first full calendar year as a mom. I was proud of what I had done, but there was one gaping hole in my list:

What Books Had I Read in 2015?

I searched my mind for recent stories. I came up with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and countless other children’s stories I had read aloud to my son.

No good. I was looking for “me books.”

I thought some more. A couple of stories popped into my head like California, and Guy In Real Life, but then I realized I had listened to both of those books (and a bunch more–like the entire series of the Demon Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner) as audiobooks. This was a little bit better – it means I had fed my brain some stories, but what practice did my eyes have in seeing words? The ultimate answer frightened me: none.

Is Any Excuse Acceptable?

This has happened to me before. I once went over two years without reading a single story (not even a children’s book). It was one of the most heartbreaking times of my life. When I came out the other side, I promised I would never – if I had the power to – allow it to happen again. That time I had a pretty good excuse: I was legally blind, I couldn’t see the words even though I wanted to.

What was my excuse this time? I was tired. Pathetic, I know. But to those who understand the term I will say this: I was parent-tired. Wait. It’s more than that. I was first-time-new-parent-tired. To those who have never walked that walk, I’m sorry, there are no words that can describe it . To those who have, I am sure you get why I have forgiven myself!

Reading Forward

Beyond forgiving myself, I also began to understand why the craving to sit in my armchair in my front window cuddled up with a book and no one else in the house was suffocating me. I looked at my nightstand – there sat the two books I had bought myself last year (I only bought two books?! Still shocking.): New Yorked by Rob Hart, a local author I wanted to support, and Go Set A Watchmen by Harper Lee, my heroine for life. It was time I picked one up and figured out how to read as a mommy. To my utter astonishment, local loyalty won the day – I picked up New Yorked and gobbled it whole (my review), and purchased the next book in the series. Then I found The Magicians by Lev Grossman, fell quickly into book love and then, most surprisingly of all an ARC of Lily and the Octopus was mailed to me and I fell into deep, deep agonizing book obsession. As a reader, I could safely say I was back on the wagon, but one thing was still amiss.

Where are my YA Reads?

I write YA. I need to read YA.

I didn’t know where to begin. I had been out of the loop too long. I know there is no such thing as “catching up” in the world of missed reads, but there must be some signpost to at least direct me to books I needed, right?

Right.

No. I am not kidding. I found it. Enter FOREVER YOUNG ADULT to my rescue.

http://foreveryoungadult.com/about
Their tagline: A site for YA readers who are a little less Y and a bit more A.
(image from their ABOUT page)

These wonderful people not only have the world’s best website for someone like me, they also have a BOOK CLUB! Here’s what they have listed for their upcoming reads:

March Selection: AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir

April Selection: THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER by Sarah Dessen

May Selection: THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas

June Selection: DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy

July Selection: CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell

August Selection: SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli

The best part? I have not read any of these yet. So…

image
I’m ready!

April here I come. I basically ran to my bookstore to get this book. I have somehow missed out on reading any Sarah Dessen thus far in my life and I am looking forward to changing that!

My question:

WHO WANTS TO JOIN ME?

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6 thoughts on “The Need To Read

  1. I feel the same hole you do. I haven’t read much lately. Rather, I haven’t finished a book in a while. The last book I read front to back was “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” and I read that book in college.

    I’ve been seeking advice on books to read from various authors. Particularly male authors because I feel like I need to study their styles. I’ve received good recommendations and must make it a point to follow up on them.

    Good luck with your reading. I recently purchased “The Color Purple.” Lot of people say it’s good. We’ll see.

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    1. Take your time with your recommendations. Pick one book that really interests you and work hard to finish it. That’s how I got back into reading/ Focusing on one book helped me find the time to read. Once I finished that book I was able to see where to fit in the others.

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  2. I have been experiencing the opposite feeling- my desire to read has reached an all time low. :/ There is a new book coming out from my favorite author, which i am excited about, but I can’t get myself together to reread the books before it in the series, as has been my tradition for years now.

    This lack of desire to read also means it takes me much longer to get through the reading I checked out from the library, and it even affects my writing. It makes writing my own blogs very difficult.

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    1. One thing I have learned through the years is that sometimes it is important to give yourself a break, particularly with your passions. You should give yourself a mini-vacation from reading (and maybe even writing!). It will give your brain and your muse a nice rest. Believe it or not, absence truly makes the heart grow fonder with these things!

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