My challenge for the next 21 days is the read a book. I know that sounds very basic so let me explain what I mean. I used to be a huge book reader, read everything I could get my hands on. One of those people that always had a stack of books somewhere near the bed, under the bed, and in every drawer of my nightstand.
My love for reading began way back when I was in grade school. I always wanted to be the fastest reader so I could get through as much information as possible, then get on to the next book. I read nonfiction, fiction, science fiction, crime books, whatever. As I got older I realized that no matter what kinds of books I read, the one thing I loved the most was the escape that reading a book provided. I would always get immersed in the world the book created for whatever time I was reading. I loved that.
Over the last few years, with having a husband, four daughters and a business to run, I have not picked up nearly as many books as I would like. I have traded in my hard and paperback books for the downloaded versions, moved away from “real books”, the kind you hold in your hands and feel the texture of the paper when turning the pages. Even though the electronic versions are quicker to access, I realize I miss real books.
So, I am going to carve out time each day to do something I have always loved. Take time out of my busy day and read a real book.
Today, the day I begin my “Read a Real Book” challenge just happened to be National Book Lovers Day. I had no idea! It was just a coincidence. But I am taking it as a sign that this is the perfect day to begin my challenge. Today also happened to be the day my friend Laura McHugh’s new fiction book “Arrowood” is releasing. So I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up a copy. I came home and put the book on my nightstand where it would wait for me to get around to it. By about 2 p.m…right as I was getting fed up to my eyeballs with my 4 and 5 year olds arguing over toys, I remembered my book. I set them up with their tablets, closed my bedroom door, and opened up my book. I got through only about 15 pages before I heard my name being yelled from the next room, but I closed my book with the biggest smile on my face. I was satisfied that I had taken the time to do something I used to love so much.
Later, after coming home from the book signing, I put the kids to bed and climbed under the cover next to my already sleeping husband, ready to jump back into the story of “Arrowood” I realized one thing immediately….While I do love real books more than downloaded ones, I need to get a book light if I don’t want to wake the sleeping Mister!
It is day 3 of my 21 day challenge to read a book. The book I started on Day 1, Arrowood, was 270 pages and I finished it last night. I don’t always finish books that quickly, normally if I am reading a little each day and the book has really grabbed my attention, it could take me about a week. That book was special because it was written by someone I know, and my name was in the acknowledgements. I felt compelled to gobble it up so I could call text the author and let her know how great her newest book was.
What I realized as soon as I closed the book was that I really, really miss reading. I miss the way I feel transported into a story and the way I feel invested with the characters. It is a great escape and I am on a mission to find my next read today.
As I got busy getting the kids ready for back to school and planning a couple of events, I found myself tempted to download a book from Amazon. I mentally chided myself for being so easily ready to slip back into my old habit. I thought back to how excited I was when I went into Barnes and Noble last week. Being drawn in by all the different book cover art and wanting to flip them all over and find out what they were about. Since I couldn’t get away to the bookstore that day, I decided to go back through my own personal library, which happens to be in my nightstand and dresser drawers, and revisit one of my old favorites.
I waited until it was naptime for my littlest ones and retreated to my favorite reading chair to get into it. I have decided I will purposely take my time with this one. I will look forward to my favorite scenes and funny lines, but I will also consciously search out things I may have missed the first time around. Looking forward to my escape into this new world!
I had to go to Kansas City for a quick meeting the other day. The lady I was with needed to run into Barnes and Noble on the Plaza to grab an umbrella because it looked like rain. My insides did a happy dance because I had yet to get back to the bookstore in CoMo. This B&N is the kind you can get lost in for days, with it’s four floors of books. I picked up and flipped over each one with an interesting cover and settled on a new title by an author that I like. When I got home that night and couldn’t wait to tuck into my new book. Unfortunately my family had other ideas for me so it would have to wait until another day…
My 21 day challenge is officially over today and I feel kind of sad to see it go, partly because during the challenge I actually held myself accountable to it. When I wanted to resort back to my lazy Netflix nights I didn’t. Instead, I reached over to my nightstand and grabbed an actual book to read. After reading either 75 pages or 2 (depending on how tired I was from the day), I was always glad I opted for the book. Not that I won’t ever binge watch shows at night, which had turned into my normal routine, but I believe I have woken up that part of me that loves books. After reading my brain feels like it has had a good workout, and I missed that feeling….and I like it a lot!