I have a distinct memory of my life in Virginia (my old life, I like to think) where I would sit on the couch with my laptop, open to a online retailer for browsing, my music playing through my headphones, but with only one earbud in so I could hear if my mom started talking to me or whatever dress had been chosen on “Say Yes To The Dress.” I had cocooned myself away from books… I would read what was required and any books I bought for pleasure were things that my friends recommended (ahem, Twilight). To contrast, I have another memory of senior skip day and spending most of that day in Books-a-Million, so you could say that books have grown on me. I rely on them as an escape more than anything. As illustrated:
Now, my life completely revolves around books. Working in publishing has a way of making one into a book nerd. I have a different relationship with books now than I did even a few years ago. I see them as something I need to consume and something I need to have at all times (and the aforementioned escape). Books are important to me and to the people I work with, it’s extremely comforting. My worry has now is if I have become to competitive with my reading. Not only am I competing with other people in the industry (“Have you read ___ book? You haven’t? OMG. Do it right now!”), but it also feels like I’m also competing with book bloggers and other Tumblr users for that “book-blogger aesthetic.” It’s a pretty weird dynamic, most of which seems to only be coming from inside my head.
One thing that’s pretty obvious to me is that books are great. Now that culture is embracing the nerds, I am embracing the nerd part of me. No longer do I have to pretend to care about America’s Next Top Model marathons. And what’s not to love about books? With e-readers, people can read anything, anytime, anywhere. And print books are still very much alive (as Booklr likes to remind me with their artsy photographs). I have stacks of print books around my room. I’d prefer have a conversation about books, than current events. Books are the current events!
It’s amazing that bookish communities have come together, but I wonder whether I’m being sucked into the vortex of READ EVERYTHING NOW and have come down with a syndrome of “my eyes are too big for my brain.” For example, I can look at a book and tell how long it would take me to read in one sitting, but if I were to apply that rule to the real world the time almost doubles. My mind tells me I can pick up more than I can chew (mixed metaphors, yeah, yeah). And these Booklr accounts seem to have all the free time in the world to read amazing stories. I suppose it’s just jealousy.
I realize I’m in a very privileged position already and need to take a step back and read at my own pace (super-lightning-fast). How many books can you handle? Do you feel the pressure of being bookish? Leave me a comment!