Quarantine Journal #3: Reading

Thank goodness for Spring Break.

Since Spring Break, my son has been in such a good mood. He’s humming in the mornings. When I say good morning, he replies, “Good morning!” He’s enjoyed not having a set schedule and getting to play. There have been no meltdowns this week. But this is something we all need–some downtime.

I have been reading on my Spring Break. I am not in the habit of reading during the school year, and I think that hurts me as a person. When I don’t get to read, I can get a little grumpy. I think this is because when I don’t read, I get a little anxious of getting back into reading, a fear that I will now lack the concentration to do it. And there’s more to it than that. When I am not reading, it means that I have no free time and I am just working all the time. I have very little to no time to reflect, just do, and absolutely no joy in my life.

When I tried to start reading again, I was ambitious. I borrowed a bunch of VERY LITERARY e-books from the library that would just stare at me and mock me. Sorry,  just not in the head space to read Topeka School.

And I know this about myself. When I am out of practice with reading, I try not to be too hard on myself. I think any access to reading is good and it will lead to the reading where I am happiest: something kind of earthy and raw and truthful. But I don’t just deep dive into Elena Ferrante–that takes time for me, especially after trying to get some sense of balance and understanding of everything that’s been going on.

I read a bunch of chick lit novels. Then more and more and more, and I thought, some of these are really good! Chick lit novels seem way more aware than when I was reading them in the early 2000s. I don’t want to get too nit-picky, but there are some that say the leading lady is a feminist and the guy is really a good guy and all that, but all I can see is that typical abusive relationship written all over the book (he grabs her wrist, so on). So, there is a difference between saying your character is something but all actions indicate none of that whatsoever. Kind of like our current president making all these grand statements and none of them being true! I see through you, grandstanders.

I’m starting to feel in “the zone” for reading. I have a non-fiction book, a memoir, Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights. There is enough variety in there that my reading life feels robust rather than paltry and weak. I have my hands on enough books that I won’t run out of ideas. These authors will lead to other authors.  I’ll keep reading my chick lit too.

 

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