Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Cure

Lately I’ve been obsessed with everything books. has been my guilty pleasure and secret getaway for a few months now. I like to read books, and I like to read about what others like to read. I enjoy book reviews even for books I haven’t read; scanning through the “most popular” and “most read” lists, checking out upcoming book releases, admiring fancy book covers.

I read through my childhood simply because there was nothing else to fill up huge chunks of free time with. But as I was growing up, I read less, and less, and less… First it was the excessive demand of school and the need to keep up with my studies. Then more and more fun TV shows were emerging, leaving little time for books. Then came the era of adolescence, partying, relationships, networking…. Next came those first challenging years in New York. Then having my baby. I read throughout it sporadically but it was nothing like compulsive reading I did as a child, reading that transferred me to the dreamy non-existent but nonetheless so real world, that stretched far beyond the gate of the book cover.

About a year ago I decided to make a comeback to the book paradise, which was once my refuge. First I didn’t know what to read and was asking everyone for suggestions. Now my to-read list is so long yet I keep adding more titles. I once read about bibliotherapy – “prescribing” certain kind of books to depressed people to elevate their pain. And I’ve been practicing this “alternative medicine” method ever since, self-prescribing fantasy, adventure-books or melancholic prose, depending on what my emotional state was at the time. What I noticed was the more I read, the shorter the bouts of darker mood would get. The random attacks of depression, melancholy or loneliness would get less aggressive and easier to endure. I simply couldn’t entirely focus on my problems anymore – there were other worlds, and characters, and story development that demanded my attention as well.

Oh, and how books were helping me with work related stress! I would replay the details of a business meeting over and over in my head, till I felt that my brain is about to boil. Emerging into a book put an instant end to work-thinking thoughts, relaxing those memory spasms that force you to jump back and think what could have been done differently. Some people go to a bar after work because they need help loosening the grip of stress - books are my universal cure.

No matter how things turn around – there are always books. To keep me company, to help me progress in my way of thinking, to teach something new or simply entertain me. With books I explore what I took for granted and see that there are more layers to everything. And I get to linger, hide comfortably in those layers. As long as there are books, I know I can handle life and what it throws at me, because I can recharge in the blissful world of intricately interwoven words.

Inspired by "A World Without Books"

Monday, June 6, 2011

Things That Make Me Sad: MONDAYS!

It’s a horrible Monday and I am free-falling into abyss. So maybe I got up on the wrong side of bed, but bad news kept coming throughout the day. I cannot describe the sharpness of my urge to quit trying just for one day, stop pretending that I can handle it because I can’t , I’m barely hanging by a thread. It’s just a rough day and on days like this people should be allowed to go home and sleep through it. Anyway, no one but myself can grant me this kind of freedom (and I won’t do that because dealing with the consequences is a sure way to prolong the pain). I will keep hanging in there for the next few hours, hoping that tomorrow will truly be a fresh start.

But I would so much rather be here now:

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