I am Sad: Reading (or not) when you have Feelings

Hello hello, lads and ladettes. Well. What an inauspicious start to my shiny new website and the escritorial renaissance implied in its creation. Also, what a way to drop the ball on #robynreadsshakespeare. And yet, for once, I am not wallowing in self-loathing or plagued by relentless guilt. This time – this one time – I am not at fault. I blame… FEELINGS. Between an absent lover and a sudden burst of light matriarchal treachery, the emotions have been, shall we say, intense.

So I thought, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, why not blog about this on my blog like a real blogger would?

Back in the old days, way way back, I mean, when the fiction of choice was The Babysitter’s Club and Sidney Sheldon (I was a weird kid okay?), the only thing that could cheer me up when life got too heavy was, you guessed it, reading. When Old Scratch, the step-father, would get started with the screaming and the smashing and the strangling, the best way – the only way – to cope was to crack open a second-hand paperback and read myself out of hell. I spent more time in Middle Earth and antebellum Georgia than I did in my house. And when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about what I had been reading and imagining myself into the story (long before I knew what self-inset fan-fiction was). Books might not have saved my life, but they sure as hell saved my soul.

I don’t know when that changed, though.

Now I can’t read if I’m even the teeniest bit sad, and I sure as hell can’t read when I’m angry. My theory? I think it’s because reading is the activity I love most. I love it so much that I can’t have stand to have it tainted by bullshit. It’s my recharge time now, not my escape ladder or coping mechanism. Now, conditions have to be perfect:

A quiet space, preferably with lots of windows, and a comfy chair, and a blanket. Ideally, there would be a cat in the vicinity. Tea is an absolute necessity. Phones are verboten. Book is probably a hardcover (I know, I know, I hate me too) and there is definitely a back-up book just in case. Maybe two.

Hm. With those standards, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m not making much headway on my Goodreads challenge this year.

Back to the books, chums. Happy reading!


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