The Obsessive Reader

That would be me, of course. After all, it’s only been 10 days since my literary dinner with Janet, and I’ve already posted 4 reviews of those books (and actually, I have 2 more finished but not posted). You might think I’ve been spending all my waking life reading, though it’s not true. I still manage to work full-time (well, 7 hours a day) between chapters. But I have been reading pretty much all the rest of the time — it’s one of the advantages of living alone, I suppose. I read on the bus to and from work (20 minute trips each way), I read during dinner, I read after dinner and before bedtime.

I’ve been like this as long as I can remember. I don’t seem to be capable of letting a book sit once I’ve started it. There’s almost nothing I would rather do than read, it’s as simple as that. Of course, there are a few things: I enjoy spending time with friends (though it happens fairly infrequently as they all are busy with their own lives), I love listening to music (and often have music on in the background while I’m reading, and always in the car), and I do watch some TV (though the Cubs’ season does not encourage prolonged exposure, and the only “appointment viewing” I have is House, currently in reruns). And I am still a regular volunteer with IRRIS (the Iowa Radio Reading Information Service) and RVAP (Rape Victim Advocacy Program).

Reading over that last paragraph, it sounds a bit sad and desperate, doesn’t it? Perhaps I am feeling a bit guilty about spending so much time lost in books. And I believe I do have a nagging feeling that there are experiences I am missing out on by choosing to allot my free time so narrowly. But unlike in my previous journalist’s life, before I returned to college, these reading binges have a limited duration. During the semester the only reading I do is what’s assigned for classes (which is not to say that it’s not interesting, engaging and enjoyable, but only that it’s not “for fun”). So I guess I will try to stop feeling so guilty about being a book addict, and enjoy the sensation all the more for knowing it’s only a temporary reprieve.

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