Writers have long known that reading, like doing laundry and scrubbing floors, is a cheap excuse to avoid writing. Naturally I justify such behavior with the reasoning that it feeds my writer’s soul, which is true…though not always my reason for reading. Still, I don’t think writers are alone in this diversion from life’s responsibilities. Clearly, a good book has always been a good escape, and may be a healthier version of avoidance behavior than heavy drinking or bungee jumping!
When I’m in need of total avoidance so I choose a book that will completely suck me into its literary web like a good murder mystery or heart racing thriller. However, if I’m in search of a mild diversion I’ll opt for either non-fiction or a classic, perhaps Jane Austen or Willa Cather. In fact, I feel reading those gals elevates my writing…makes me want to be a better me, writing-wise.
Of course, you don’t have to be a writer to escape into a good book. If that were the case there would be no such thing as the good ‘beach read’! Personally, there’s nothing like the latest Stephanie Plum mystery. It goes down easy and can be picked up at a moment’s notice-- like just in time to avoid conversation with that strange person sitting next to you on the plane, or when you need to hide out from the relatives at a family gathering. Not that I’d ever do that…
But you don’t need a special occasion or even a cheap excuse to read a good book! A well told story is as excellent a companion during lunch as it is on your CD player in rush hour or in the wee hours of the night when you are all alone in your alternate reality of choice. Whatever your literary proclivities, enjoy them-no apologies necessary!
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