When I was a teenager, I became addicted to binge reading. I had this horrible habit of starting a book and completely stopping all of life’s activities outside of using the bathroom (which, who am I kidding? The book stayed with me in there, too.) as I became engulfed in a book. Food, personal hygiene, friends, appointments? All put on hold until I reached the “Happily Ever After.”
I would reread my copies of Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years as well as my library copies of the epic adventures of the Sweet Valley Twins. Eventually, my reading tastes broadened, but my obsession only intensified. I distinctly remember reading Rebecca by Daphne DeMaurier for my Senior English class in one weekend (it was supposed to be read over the course of a grading cycle).
I would continue my binge reading habits through early adulthood, reading The Glass Castle in one night, The DaVinci Code in a sitting (It’s those cursed cliff hanger chapters). Each time a Harry Potter book came out, I would pick it up on release day and devour it, except for 5 and 6, which my husband forced me to read aloud with him because he wanted to read them, too (and he’s a slower reader than I am). It was
Once I became a mom, I really couldn’t do that anymore. (Though I did prepare for the release of Deathly Hallows. I called my mom to come over for a Grammy day with my oldest. Oh, yes. I did.)
I think that’s part of why I stopped reading for a few years. I couldn’t justify checking out for an entire day. As a mom in my thirties, I’ve had to grow up a bit, learning how to put the book down on the night stand and back away. You know what I’ve found out? This finishing books at a normal pace? I tend to remember more of the book. Digesting it. Remembering little plot points or the way the author used a key phrase. It’s, dare I say it, enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a “point of no return” with a novel, where I simply cannot stop until I finish the book. It usually hits about a 1/3 from the finish.
Once in a while, I get an entire weekend to myself, and I can indulge once again. In fact, I usually spend this exact week in February binge reading. My husband attends a huge convention for Band Directors and other Professional Music Nerds, and I normally tag along with a bag of books (English Major Nerd. Represent!). I am unable to go this year, but since the house will be super quiet after 8:00 every night, I can get a few hours of uninterrupted reading.
This will always remain a little guilty pleasure of mine, completely losing myself in a book. I just can’t plunge into that world as often. Maybe one day, my kids will all understand this need to escape into a book. They can go off and discover the mysteries of Hogwarts or Pioneer America while I grab the latest addiction for me and dive in.
I’m participating in Jessica’s Love of Reading Week today. Go check out her post at Quirky Bookworm or link up your own to talk about your love of reading. Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!
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