When I was an undergrad at MTSU, I worked next door to Barnes & Noble. Our store wasn’t busy, so I spent most of the down time reading. I lived off cookies from the Cookie Store, Green Tea refills from B&N Cafe and books off the bargain table. I could devour a book in a day.
Then I graduated, got an 8-5, got married, had kids and forgot all about how much I loved reading.
After November 2016, I found myself seeking something to get lost in. Rather than escaping reality, I started listening to memoirs and political history books. I was seeking answers for why we ended up where we did on November 8.
I spent my commute listening to (and, sometimes, arguing with) book after book. Some made me cry, some made me laugh and some made me angry. They occasionally answered a question or provided a new insight or perspective. I tried to find a balance between positions I agreed with and those I did not.
Then in July of last year, I started a new job and my commute went from two hours a day to twenty minutes (hallelujah). This limited the time I had to listen to books.
I missed it. But I also missed the fiction books I used to get lost in. My mom group (I know I’ve mentioned how much I love my mama group) decided to start a book club. We read Girl’s Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. From there, I started reading more and more.
It also inspired me to look back at works I’d written previously and to also start writing again.
I missed reading and writing more than I’d realized.
During this discovery phase, I found the Bookstagram community and new I’d found my people. Gorgeous photos, thoughtful reviews and TBR piles taller than me (I’m short, it doesn’t take much).
Heading into 2019, I set a goal to read 36 books. It’s January 27 and I’ve read 14. So, I upped my goal to 72. I gifted myself with a Kindle Paperwhite that allows me the luxury of reading as I’m trying to get the kids to sleep. There is a paperback or hardcover book on my nightstand to read before bed. And, I have an audiobook (always nonfiction) to listen to as I get ready in the morning and during my short commutes.
I’m sure I’ll slow down and have good months and bad months, but one thing I know for certain is that I’m not walking away from my love of reading or writing ever again.