I've always been an avid reader. I was the kid who, in family photos, had my nose behind abook at birthday parties. I'd read everything that I could get my hands on. I'd read the back of the cereal box while scarfing down a bowl of Cheerios. When I was done with it, I'd move on to reading the nutritional content. Not because I was health-obsessed, but because it was there, and it was words, so I consumed those too.
My voracity didn't stop when I was in high school; I used to skip class so that I could go to the library to read. Sitting between the stacks, powering through fantasy, fiction, biographies, poetry, history - that was my little piece of heaven. Forget about running for student council, forget the popular kids. Just give me a little section of carpet in the quietest back corner of the library where I could listen to my discman, read the world away, or dream of a time when it'd be my name on the books surrounding me. That was perfection.
Somewhere in between then and now ... things got hectic. Studying replaced pleasure reading; efficiency replaced lingering over delicious metaphor and rich imagery. And now that I've graduated and am between degrees? I can't get myself back to where it all began. I catch myself halfway down a page, not really remembering how the plot got there; I skim articles that I come across with the intention of reading them later (but never, ever do). It feels like life happens too quickly to accommodate the literary digestive satisfaction of a good, thorough read.
I'm sure that I could launch into a rant of the connection between the nature of information consumption, web writing, and what seems to be an ever-shortening attention span ... but I won't. Not today, at least. That's a post for another time.
However, with that, my next addition to List30 is a combination of two things: slowing down and mindfulness as it comes to hobbies such as reading. I'm taking the time to step away from my phone and with it, the mindless scrolling that goes with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. I've been taking time before going to bed at night to read—whether it's been for fifteen minutes or an hour and fifteen—and reading a book. Slowly, being sure to take in each word.
And you know what? It makes a difference. It's coming back.
Which past loves do you want to resuscitate?