The reasons I haven’t blogged for a few weeks are mostly of the ‘life got in the way of relaxation’ variety that would even bore me if I re-hashed them again. But one factor I hadn’t considered might play a role in my interest in talking about books was their physical absence from my surroundings.
With my recent house move (one I fervently hope will be my last) I decided that my new house would also have new bookshelves. I’d had the same IKEA shelves since first leaving university in 1988 and while they served me faithfully through countless moves and re-configurations the time felt right for something different. So I packed almost all of my books away in late January when I was getting the old house ready for sale and, aside from a couple of boxes which I opened when I moved here in June, they have stayed packed away until this week when my new shelves finally arrived.
And for almost all of that time I have grown decreasingly interested in reading, talking about reading, book shopping and all the other things that go with being a lifelong bookaholic. It’s not a matter of having something to read either as I deliberately kept some of my physical TBR accessible, have oodles of eBooks available and for the last four months have been living 500 metres from one of the city’s best book stores. But having something to read is not the same as being surrounded by reading memories. Or being able to easily lay one’s hand on a favourite book to loan to an old friend. Or having a quick re-read of my grandmother’s copy of Wuthering Heights before seeing the newest movie adaptation.
I’m not suggesting that 2012’s lost reading mojo can entirely be ascribed to an absence of books but my lack of interest in all things book-related coincides too closely with my books being in boxes for it not to be remarked upon My new shelves arrived on Tuesday this week and almost as soon as I’d unpacked the last book box late that night I felt better than I have in ages. All year really.
Books are now the first thing I see when I walk in the front door and I hope that will always make me smile as much as it did tonight. In the past two days I’ve read more than I have in the last month (I’m half-way through a book I dared not start during my slump for fear of not doing it justice). And I’m mentally reviewing my wishlist, thinking of things to blog about and wondering once again if I can read until 3AM and still look like I give a damn about work the next day.
Life is good.