PERSONAL GROWTH

More Than a Few Books on My Shelf

Books are a weakness of mine. I have always loved reading. I enjoyed it immensely growing up. I remember spending hours sprawled across my bed or tucked in the corner of the couch. I read all through the night on many occasions. I am sure my mom wasn’t fond of me sleeping until three in the afternoon to catch up on sleep but I don’t remember her ever discouraging me from reading my books. She always kept my bookshelves full of the stuff I loved, and as I grew supported my attraction to stories. I made my way through series like Nancy Drew and Little House on the Prarie. Reading was such an escape for me. It still is when I get a book that really grabs me.

The past few years have been full of false starts. I’ve picked up many books, read part way but have actually completed only a handful. These books sit on my shelf patiently waiting for another chance. E-books also wait quietly out of sight on my Kobo. It isn’t that I didn’t enjoy them. I am just too distracted and often find that I don’t leave enough down time for myself and when I do I am usually so tired that I just want to sit mindlessly relaxing in front of the tv. I used to be such a crazy reader. I often found myself engrossed in a story, fact or fiction. Soon after I finished one I’d be into the next. So what’s happened?? I’m busy, but not so much that I shouldn’t be able to pick up a book.

There is so much talk and study about the effects of technology – our devices and social media, on our brains. You don’t have to read an article or watch a news story to see how involved we are with our phones. They are not just phones anymore. Our lives are so integrated with them that it is hard to let go and not be so reliant on it for everything. During the summer I made a conscious effort to not pick up my phone and browse aimlessly. when I went outside to relax on the porch or at the beach I left it inside or in my bag and brought out a book instead. And you know what? It worked. as I read more the material carried me and it wasn’t a struggle, much to my relief.

I read The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westall, Unprocessed by Megan Kimble and Zero waste home by Bea Johnson. These books all had a purpose partly for research and interest but also they entertained. The fauna reminded me of Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall – women who deeply moved me and helped solidify my love of animals. It was set in Canada which brought it closer to home. A true story that I could tie and make connections to from my memory of the past. I was intrigued in when they made mention of some past event or name that I already knew. So it pulled me in when I picked up and began this book that had sat on my shelf waiting for its pages to be turned.

What do you think?