I read a lot, but in recent years I’ve noticed I don’t read a lot of fiction. Lately, however, I happily stumbled across the Blue Mood Café blog, and it somehow opened my eyes to what I’ve been missing.
As I perused her comments in the Best of 2018 post, something clicked. I decided right then to make reading for enjoyment a bigger part of my 2019 picture.
Happily, her top two 2018 picks were right there on the shelf at the local library: Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren (the author is actually two people), and Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent.
I blasted right through those two books before 2019 even started. The first was probably not exactly my cup of tea, but the second hit the sweet spot.
This was just ridiculously self-indulgent reading, particularly with Unravelling Oliver, a mystery which was pretty much impossible to put down. What fun!
Whew! I felt kind of guilty about suspending time like that, but not enough that it prevented me from dipping into yet another book.
This time, I revisited a book that has long been on my shelves. It’s a very much beloved book that I read with my children. I love children’s literature in general, but The Wind in the Willows is one of the special ones. I wanted to read it again, but somehow never could quite allow myself to indulge. Until now.
I shamelessly plucked it off the shelf, and dove in.
Right off the bat, I was in that dreamy place by the river, steeped in Kenneth Grahame’s delicious language.
How can one not just absolutely love the characters? I want a Rat in my life, desperately.
At any rate, it was an awesome trip down memory lane and, really, into another world.
I love that I have now been able to give myself permission to just read with abandon – wherever my whim takes me. It’s kind of funny to realize the subconscious constraints I placed on myself in this area.
It also made me realize that I put a whole heck of a lot of similar constraints on myself generally. I’m all about what I’ve got to do, what I should do, what I’m not doing, what makes sense for me to do, but not a whole lot of what I just want to do, what I’d really like to do.
That’s actually a pretty big realization with some broad implications. I think there is more to come on this topic.
By the way, Blue Mood also mentions several challenges one can participate in, and I admit I am tempted. If I set a goal to read a certain number of books, it might encourage me to really let myself go wild with this recreational reading. Living on the edge, heh?
How about you? Got any beloved books of your own?
4 thoughts on “beloved books”
Thank you for your kind acknowledgment! I’m glad you loved Unraveling Oliver, too.
I remember The Wind in the Willows! That brings back such fond memories. Good luck with choosing a challenge. I make certain they fit my reading goals as I’m not one to just pick a book to satisfy a challenge requirement. Those I participate in keep me focused on what I really want to read.
If you like historical fiction, there are some excellent books out there for that particular challenge. There’s also a nonfiction challenge out there, too.
Decisions, decisions! 🙂 I noticed there’s a variety in the challenges, so I’m still mulling just a bit before I commit. Happy to have triggered your happy memories with The Wind in the Willows, too. 🙂
Great post! Yes, I got away from my fictional reading loves and wallowed more in nonfiction, partly because I felt I SHOULD be reading that genre and not spending (“wasting”) time in fiction.
Not as satisfying.
Over the past two years, I have returned to my roots, reveling in fantasy/science fiction, fairy tales, and occasional mysteries. Poetry as well, and it turns out. my daughter and I have similar poetic tastes.
I have discovered new (to me) authors, obsessed over series, and been inspired to write a few of my own.
Waste of time? No, I realize now, because my life is made so much richer.
Awesome! Yes, I’ve got a small stack of books just waiting to be devoured now. You are right, it does make life richer. 🙂