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I recently made a great discovery, or more accurately, a re-discovery, having first uncovered this wonderful truth when I was a wee babe. Reading books is awesome! If that sounds like something only an idiot would say, well, I say to you, when was the last time you read a novel?! Oh, you’re reading one now? Well then, congratulations! Still, it seems to me that the numbers of us who remember the great value of the novel are dwindling. I hope I’m wrong. I have, of late (ehm, the last year…), back-burnered my literary minded self in favor of filling the crevices of my over-burdened brain with ideas conveyed in 140 characters or less. Sometimes I read longer pieces, say, 800 words on BuzzFeed. It’s an ugly admission, but there you have it. Me, laid bare.

Somewhere along the way, in my attempt to seek escape through the bite-size, curated lives of my Facebook “friends”, I forgot that reading a novel provides one of the greatest escapes available to us humans. A novel can offer insight into the human condition in a way that like-seeking Facebook posts simply cannot. (If you’ve read any of my blog posts, you’ll likely recognize here my tendency to state the obvious. Chalk it up to my ever-present desire for affirmation, and said over-burdened brain.)

The last novel I read was Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. I loved it. Now I’m on to Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. (Yes, my list is a little behind the times... Fifty Shades of Grey is languishing on my bookshelf waiting patiently for its turn on my nightstand.) Both books were gifts from my more literate husband, and both books have reminded me how, well, great, great writing can be. (I am not a great writer. There I go again, stating the obvious.) Oh I’ll still scroll the Instagram feeds, and read the tweets and the status updates. I’ll even “like” a few things, but tonight, when I pull the covers up to my chin, I’ll click fewer times and instead enjoy the swish of the paper page as I escape into the literary lives of others.

Amanda Luttrell Garrigus The Unbearable Lightness of Being

I'm just a (tired) girl, in a Zara sweater, on a zebra rug, brandishing a book.

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