I have always liked to read, but the summer after sixth grade, I became obsessed with escaping reality into the pages of a book. It is infectious. I loved the kind of book that made me stay up through the night to finish, or that I took along with me to soak in a relaxing bath, only to end up turning into a prune in cold water because I was so riveted. I loved all genres, but I especially loved science fiction and fantasy.
When I entered college, I read less. Maybe it was because I had so much reading to do for school, or maybe it was because suddenly a large, amazing group of people entered my life and I found it more and more rare that I had enough alone time to read.
My first year of graduate school, I lived far from campus and took the bus to class, spending over an hour on the bus every day. I read so many books that year that it felt like I was a kid again. That is how reading makes me feel: young, vibrant, and filled with the possibility of expanding my worldview, my knowledge, and my experience through words on paper.
I've been trying to read more lately as an escape from stress. My friend Laura bought me Kathryn Stockett's The Help for my birthday this year, and I'm just now getting around to reading it. I avoided seeing the movie in theaters because I wanted to experience the characters for the first time in my mind, with my voice, and in the pages of this book.
This book is so wonderful. I'm sure most of you who are reading this have heard of it and don't need me to tell you it is good. I'm about three quarters of the way through it and I'm already feeling very sad that it has to end.
Last week, after I finished a photo session, I waited around for about 40 minutes for my husband to pick me up on his way home from work. I laid underneath a big maple tree on campus and I read, loving the feeling of the breeze and the warmth of the dappled sunlight coming through the branches. Sometimes I forget that I need to just stop and appreciate the simple moments in life. I get wrapped up in deadlines and obligations and I forget to just pause and live.
I'm going to try and press pause more often. :)
Thanks for the great book, Laura. I miss you and reading it just brings me a little closer to Arizona. :)