I’ve forgotten how good it feels just to read.
It seems ironic that I’m a writer who doesn’t read anymore, doesn’t it? It’s like a chef who never bothers to taste any cooking other than his own. Or an artist who never visits an art gallery.
I have no time.
My work life is severely regimented. I’m one of those incredible overachievers with a truly disgusting work ethic, spared only from relationship ruin by the fact that my amazing husband works right here in the trenches beside me.
Last year, I shared here that I’d found little bits of time in my life that, all strung together, were sufficient to allow me to read books again. I’ve stumbled at it – certainly there are enough other things to claim those bits of free time – and yet since then I have managed to finish reading a number of books – most recently “The Shipwright and Other Stories” by Matthew Buscemi. It’s a wonderful fantasy collection you’ll find reviewed in this week’s newsletter.
And you know what? It feels really good to be reading again.
It’s recharging for me as a writer, exposing myself to the works of others and swimming in their words for a few weeks.
I spent almost a month wandering through Buscemi’s Palípoli archipelago, spending time in its various cities and soaking up the simple idea of his world. So many ideas. So many people and places, so much NOT here on Earth at this particularly painful moment in both our personal and public lives.
Reading is such an escape for me.
I knew this once. When I was younger, I would stay up until two in the morning with a great book, never wanting it to end, and would re-read some of the greats over and over again. Reading McCaffrey, Asimov, Clarke, Tepper, Hamilton and more helped make me the writer I have become, and yet I have forsaken them all for far too long.
So now I am inching my way through “Tales From Ardulum,” a wholly different experience from “The Shipwright,” falling into my old comfortable pattern of fantasy – sci fi – fantasy – sci fi. And I find that it’s healing for me in ways that I didn’t expect. It’s making me excited to think about writing again.
Angel tried to tell me how important it is that, as an author, to find time to read. “You need to read. You need to know what’s out there.” She told me more than once.
I brushed it off. “Find me the time,” I said to her. “Every moment of my day is full.”
Turns out she was right. I really hate it when I’m wrong and she is right. 😛
I do have the time. I just had to let myself use it.
To my writer friends – do you have time to read? And if so, how important is it to you as a writer?