Friday, February 3, 2012

A confession

Hello. My name is KittyMarie, and I am an editor who doesn't read.

Perhaps I should clarify.

I edit academic books and journals for a living. If I'm not being paid to read it, I don't. While I was growing up, I was a voracious reader (young adult fiction was my weakness, and here's another confession: it still is). I would go to the library and bring home a bag full of books, which I would devour. I was never unhappy to receive a good book as a gift.

Then I began my current job, and all I did all day long was read, so I stopped reading for fun. I haven't read an "extracurricular" book for years.

Don't get me wrong, I reclaimed my love for reading feature stories (these are articles that are typically much longer than regular news articles but shorter than books), and longform.org remains my go-to site for discovering wonderful, enticing feature stories.

But I didn't pick up a book, even on vacation. Especially on vacation.

On some level, I think I missed the recreational fiction and nonfiction, but I felt that, after reading all day, I didn't want to continue that at night. If I wasn't working on freelance graphic design projects during my free time, then I was camped out with Netflix, as mindless as possible.

Then Husband bought a Kindle, and he started reading much more than I ever remember him doing. And then, in January 2012, without making a formal resolution, we both changed our habits. I had received Tina Fey's Bossypants for Christmas (hardcover, highly recommend), and I found myself reading in bed. Soon, Husband and I began turning off the television at 9:30 or even 9:00, completing our evening ablutions, and then settling beneath the covers to read, him on his Kindle, and me the old-fashioned way, until we turned the lights out for the night.

And I love it. After Bossypants, I picked up an old friend, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 100 Years of Solitude, which is one of my favorite books of all time. Next, I'm finally going to tackle Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera, which I bought years ago and have started countless times but never made it past the first chapter.

The quiet reading time before bed allows us to wind down into sleep much more easily than the bright lights and harsh sounds of the television. We are sleeping better, and I look forward to our evenings even more now. What's more, while I once believed that recreational reading would further burn me out on reading in general, I have found that I am actually tackling my editing projects at work with more fervor. Perhaps that is because I have had some interesting projects lately, but just maybe our new routine has something to do with rekindling my love of reading.

I think we will continue our new bedtime routine for the foreseeable future.

Do you have any good book recommendations?

2 comments:

Matt Andreko said...

My recommendations:
Daemon - Daniel Suarez
Freedom TM - Daniel Suarez
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline (Audible.com has it read by Wil Wheaton!)
Reamde - Neal Stephenson
any of the Dexter books by Jeff Lindsay

blind irish pirate said...

Have you read the "Hunger Games"? I really loved my days of YA scifi/fantasy/dystopian worlds, and the Hunger Games reminds me of my youth. I think you'd like it.

I also devoured "Girl with a Dragon Tattoo" by Steig Larsson and the proceeding two novels once I was able to get the ball rolling. Again, really, really good.

If you are looking for escapist reading, the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon is something to get lost in - literally, in epic proportions.

My absolute favorites that I could read one after another and may be able to recite by heart would be the Sevenwaters Trilogy by Julliett Marillior.

SO GOOD.