I turned a year older last week. One year closer to an acceptable quarter-life crisis, even though I’m pretty sure I’ve already had three in the last six months. I’m not one of those people who minds getting older. Growing further and further away from my past, in some cases, is a very good thing.
Except when it comes to reading books.
I’m like many other writers in that books were what inspired me to start writing my own fiction. I don’t remember a time when I read something and didn’t feel curious about how the author came up with a story so amazing. I write a lot more often than I read now, and am struggling to keep up with my 2016 goal of reading 50 books, but I still read a little bit every day. Every once in awhile, I’ll read a book that changes my life. When I was younger, that used to happen with pretty much every single book I ever read.
Where did that go? And can I have that feeling back please?
This is not to say books have gotten any better or worse as time goes on; there’s no way anyone could make a reasonable comparison between literature of different time periods. Add to that the fact that I really haven’t had a reason to stay up to date on children’s literature since I read books in that genre on the regular, and it’s safe to say I’m no expert. I just miss the books I used to read; rather, I want to remember, to feel, things I experienced while reading them for the first time.
I remember only bits and pieces of Ramona’s life, and things that happened in Narnia, and random titles of books I wish I still had on my shelves. Just for a day, I want to travel back to my own personal literary era of American Girl books and innocent mystery chapter books and Goosebumps stories, the ones where you got to pick what happened next. I want to go back to my middle school library and read all those books I returned without ever finishing. But more than anything, I want to travel back to that point in my life where reading was my escape and my pleasure and not just something I feel obligated to do, because I’m a writer and I’m supposed to read.
Call me sappy or whatever, but I want to fall in love with reading again. I’ve been reading a book for almost 2 months that I was supposed to read in college but never did. It’s annoying and I don’t like it. If you have any suggestions for good page-turners or books that have inspired you to sit down and write your own stuff, send them my way (comment below!). Also, favorite children’s book series – GO!
Reading inspires me to write, and I’m really in need of some inspiration right now. And ’90s cartoons. And Ramona.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.
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