Day 6: Book Nook
Take a look at that book porn! Floor to ceiling bookshelves with my Goodwill grampa chair cozied up in the middle. To keep my collection this trim, I have to regularly give away or sell boxes of the books I’ve read and can bear to part with, and I’m lucky audiobooks don’t have to be CDs anymore. I’ve tried to convince my wife that we should take up the Icelandic tradition of Jólabókaflóð (“Yule book flood”) where we exchange books on Christmas Eve. Needless to say, she is not having it.
Clearly, I am the quintessential book nerd. I’ve always been a reader, a writer, a lover of words and stories. I like to learn and, in classic Tyrion smarty-pants style, to know things.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to question certain assumptions we make as a culture. Reading is an encouraged, romanticized pastime for people who are or will one day be successful. Readers are generally viewed as intelligent and even venerable. Parents feel lucky to have kids who like to read.
But there is a darker side to reading. It isn’t always a magical escape. Sometimes it’s a disconnection, a dissociation. Sometimes, we readers are hiding in our books. When books seem more real than people, sometimes it’s because we’ve retreated so far into ourselves and our stories that everything else feels distant and muffled. At times like these, I wonder why we’re so hard on people for disappearing into their mobile devices but applaud others for disappearing into books? However you slice it, we’re disappearing.
Sometimes when I’m lost in the dreams of my book world, I just need to wake up, put my feet back on the ground, and deal with my shit already.