Every “You should read X” sentence over the last few months was met with some off-the-cuff, “Sure, when I get to decide what I’m reading again.”
Graduate school has just as much reading as undergrad and then some. Think of it as all the reading you were pretending to do for your bachelor’s, plus 50%. Add to that the fact I was picking up ancilary reading left and right, and I’m surprised my eyes didn’t start bleeding by the end of the semester as some sort of academic stigmata.
Secretly, each time I added a book to the When I Get to Read What I Choose pile, I also remembered a secret worry – What if I didn’t want to read anymore?
For the first few weeks of break, it seemed true. I caught up on and re-watched favorite trash television before I considered picking up a book. I was worried this would be the default for my trip home. I imagine all addicts feel that way during detox.
Then, a few days ago, I picked up Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. My sister Rachel brought it home for me from school on a friend’s recommendation when the friend learned of my appreciation for Doctor Who.
After I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down.
Yesterday, I started and finished Jeanne Darst’s Fiction Ruined My Family. I’d picked it up on a Barnes & Noble splurge fueled by the gift cards due as patronage for any family of an English major.
Today is a writing day.
It turns out, yes, I am still a reader. I am still one who finds comfort in the words of others after they’ve been knitted together from a single narrative strand to wrap myself in, and take comfort in worlds just out of focus from my own.