Hello, dear readers. Another slightly different post this week, as my family settles into our new digs, and finds the rhythm of the new normal. Laptop has been rescued from storage, and enough pillows piled in the corner of a room make a pretty decent reading -and witing- nook, which is the perfect place from which to ask one very important question: how do our reading habits change in the calm after the storm?
For me, the first thing that comes to mind is that, now, there is the time and space to actually consider reading, period. That is an adjustment in itself. Not what’s most convenient to carry (twelve-book series of roughly five hundred pages each, for example, are not the easiest things to lug around while traveling, or when space or weight is at a premium, even if said series is what one really does want to read most at a particular moment) but what we actually want to read, what would be fun and/or intersting right now. Fun and interesting don’t have high priorities in ER waiting rooms, or in the middle of an unexpected move, but, when the hubub is over, the real life conflict resolved, that’s their time to shine.
Cue big exhale, flop back on the nearest available piece of soft furniture (or pile of pillows) and allow the possibilities to bubble to the surface. Sometimes, oddly enough, this means a time of not reading, or of reading things that are not romance, not fiction, or not even books. Magazines, webcomics, subtitles on forgien films, etc; those all have a place in the reacclimation process. Maybe those are part f the regular reading smorgasbord anyway, but, in this post-crisis time, they can also be a good wa to recalibrate the system.
Most times, we’re not the same people after a big life change as we were before it, or, at the very least, we are a different vesion of ourselves. This calls for some time and consideration, so, if it takes a little longer than usual, or if the usual suspects don’t quite have the same effect in the after as they did in the befre, that’s completely normal and natual, and may lead back to the old favorites again, in the end, or it may open doors to new horizons. Maybe even somewhere in the middle, which leaves us in a best of both worlds kind of deal, which sounds pretty good to me right about now.
Other times, the old standby reads are exactly what’s needed to connect the after to the before. Pick up a book, author, or trope that always satisfies (herione disguised as male = Give Me That Book, pretty darned near every time, for example, and star crossed lovers who make it work are my oxygen) and sink into the familiar ease of reconnecting with an old friend after too long apart. The old friend may, as often does happenin such circumstances, bring along some new friends, met in that time apart, who can be brought into the fold as well. Whetherthis means we notice something new about those old reliable books, and search for more of that elsewhere ,or find ourselves missing something about the reading we did in the in-between, it’s time to introduce the before to the after, and see what beautiful future babies they might make
Maybe there’s an element we kind of liked in non-romance reading from the in-between, and would love to see how that would play out within the romance genre. Be that a character type hot buttton issue, bit of historical trivia, a particular setting, or even philosohical/moral dilemma, odds are, there is a romance novel out there, somewhere, that deals with it, and an author or two, who may become a new favorite, whom we never would have even noticed before that unexpected detour.
It’s whenthe dust has settled that we have a chance to look around at what we have, and ask ourselves the important questions. What now? What next/ What do we carry with us? What do we add to our routine? What treasures do we pass on to others? The answer is probably different for each of us, after each life transition, but there’s one thing for sure about life in the reading after it will not be boring. Other thatn that? No gaurantees.
So, dear readers, I turn it now over to you. What do you notice about what and the way you read, when real life crises are over? Back to business as usual, right off the bat? Off in new directions? Something in between the two? Pull up a chair in the comment section and tell us all about it. There’s room for everybody at this table.