Author Lisa Kleypas has a story, of a shopping trip she and her mother made, in the wake of a natural disaster. They had gone to get only the essentials to tide them over, and, at checkout, they discovered they had each put a romance novel in their cart. I love this story, and I think a lot of romance readers can relate, but what happens when life gets wild and the reading…doesn’t get?
This question has been on my mind a lot, lately, as with Ms. Kleypas’ account, because our family is in the middle of a moving adventure. Said adventure includes many trips to big box stores, and I always, without fail, wheel my cart past the book aisle, to see what new romance novels are out. Ever since I was a preteen, I have had the same ritual when I don’t feel wel, but have to be out.
This works best in drugstores, as cherry cough drops and the good facial tissues are integral parts, but these things are sold in big markets, as well, so that’ll work fine. I go by the book section, ascertain if there are romance novels to be had at all. Usually the answer is yes. If so, I then check to see if there are any historicals. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If so, the next tier is to figure out which one I would like someone to bring to me, if I were home in bed, and they had run the errand for me. I don’t know why the someone else picking out the book is an essential part of the fantasy, but it is.
These days, I am far more likely to purchase the book electronically, or request to borrow a copy from the library, as the apartment we left was super small, but I still look. When I packed our bags to keep with us during the move, I included two paper books, one in my tote and one in my suitcase. I have, so far, not touched the suitcase book, and I am maybe halfway or a little more past that in the tote book. I am also halfway throough a couple of books on my Kindle (with over four hundred books on that thing, and access to NetGalley, I am spoiled for choice) but, when I finally get to bed, my usual favorite reading time, I…sleep.
This is not a bad thing. Sleep is good. Sleep is very, very good. We all need sleep. My family needs sleep. Since, as of this writing, we are sharing a motel room, that means we are all sleeping in one room, so there is a set time for lights out, unless one wants to hunker down in the bathroom (which is not that bad an idea) or hang out in the lobby. True, this is prime Kindle time and I do settle down with good intentions. I mean to read. I think about reading. I think about reading, a lot. I remember other times when life was challenging, and I sank into a hot bath or a fluffy net of blankets, and slipped into the pages of a book, to spend some time in another time and place.
I am reasonably sure that will happen again. This past week, a friend, who, incidentally, I met in a romance readers’ group in a local bookstore, lo these many years ago, challenged me to post seven book covers over the course of seven days, no context, and no comment. I posted eight, because apparently not reading also affects my ability to count. Most of them were romances. Picking out the covers I wanted to share was easy, and now I want to re-read them all, because the memories came flooding back, not only of the books, but of where and who and what I was, the first time I read them. One day, in the future, I will look back at the books I have on pause right now, and remember everything that came along with them, as well. For right now? I think it’s time to give that reading thing another try.
So, dear readers, I turn it now over to you. Do you remember life events connected to reading (or not reading) any special books? Do you think about reading when reading isn’t practical? Worry the book characters are doing things without you? Pull up a chair in the comment section and tell us all about it. There’s room for everybody at this table.