I have been reading a lot in the past year. And I don’t mean the leisurely kind of reading, where you read to go to sleep at night (although I do that too). I read whenever I can. I read on the metro. I read on my breaks. I ignore my coworkers at lunch so that I can read. When the kids are asleep or happen to look away for a moment, I read. I read voraciously. I read greedily.
Of course, reading isn’t a bad thing at all. It is not like I am shooting heroine while my kids ask for supper or anything. But I can’t help feeling that anything that you NEED so much and that you do with such wolfish appetite can’t always be so good. Especially something that really is a solitary act and that does not really contribute positively to anybody but me.
I wonder if I would feel so conflicted if I was reading “serious” adult books though. You know, the hard hitting no nonsense kind that sheds some light on the Afghanistan situation (I really need to find a book like that). But, no. I read kids’ books. I read about orphan children and adventure stories where the adults are always really clueless, and the kids always save the day. I love these books and I go through them faster than a bag of doritos sweet chili heat chips (for proof, just look at my libraything page). I have my excuses of course. I am a children’s librarian after all. I do write children’s fiction (or at least attempt it). I like to pass off this unsatiated gourmandise for research. And sometimes I even fool myself.
But not today, damnit. I am thinking of this habit of mine and how I can justify it to the world. My only real response is (and please comment if you feel this is a cop out and that I should take some of that reading time and go pass out sandwiches to the homeless) that it is not worth anything all this reading if I don’t do something with it. That is, if I don’t make something new with it. This is a blabbering blog thought at its worst probably, but I think the only way you can justify these solitary actions, these self enlightening moments is through action. In my case, it would be to try and write something new using all the books I have read as ballast. Anyway you get my drift. Action. Action is the key. Could it be that we are what we do? I hope so, because if we are what we eat, I am in trouble…