Confession: I haven’t read a single book in over a month.
For the average person, that might not seem like such a big deal, but for someone whose entire identity for as long as they can remember has revolved around reading… It’s a difficult realization to wrap my brain around. Can I even consider myself a reader anymore if I’m no longer reading? What makes a reader a “reader” anyways? Is it a general love of books, a willingness to escape, a hunger for more information? If so, what happens when you stop being hungry for more?
There was a time in which I was frustrated with my inability to remain focused on a story, but lately I can’t be bothered. I’ve found myself more interested in re-watching the glorious disaster that is Lost with my lovely roommate, the two of us loudly sighing the first time Juliet and Sawyer meet one another for the first time or rolling our eyes whenever Jack is throwing yet another tantrum.
Instead of reading earlier today, I finally decorated the kitchen on my current farm in Stardew Valley, because my character’s husband is on a tour for his book, and stupidly, I’d like our shared farmhouse to look nice once he gets back. Ironically, both my character and the farm he lives on are names from my favorite book, The Raven Boys.
When I haven’t been collecting eggs, wool, and milk from my farm animals or admiring Daniel Dae Kim’s exquisite cheekbones, I’ve been listening to the albums that always manage to jolt my heart back into life, even when I feel like everything is impossibly grim. As I’ve discovered time and time again, it’s nearly impossible to feel sad when earnestly singing along to “Drag Me Down” by One Direction: with your love, nobody can drag me doooOOOOOWWWNNN.
Reading, for the time being, remains elusive. It breaks my heart to admit this about myself, but as I’ve said to countless others over the last year: there’s a pandemic going on and it is okay if you’re not doing what you’d normally be doing.
It’s okay. It’s gonna be okay. Don’t lose hope.
And in the meantime, here are the books I’m daydreaming about, because while I’ve temporarily lost my appetite for reading, as it turns out, I’m still madly in love with books. I remain a reader, after all. What a relief.
You ever pick up a book, read the first few lines, and know immediately this will be your new favorite? I'm treasuring the moment I'll finally be in the right mindset to read this romance novel, and until then I'm going to moon over that beautiful cover. I mean, just look at it!
My wonderful friend once requested I write the queer version of My Best Friend's Wedding, but as it turns out, I won't have to, because it already exists! Well, sort of. This one is about a bride-to-be falling in love with her bridesmaid, and I'm already swooning.
Slowly, but surely, I've watched my place in the holds list for The Midnight Library decrease. Fellow Book Squad member / Book Fairy, Ilka, has given this book nothing but praise, and I'm looking forward to getting my grubby little mitts on a copy. Someday!!
Another Book Squad recommendation! This book helped get Polli through 2020, and I have a feeling it will have a similar effect on my life. Sometimes all you need is a friendly voice reminding you to keep moving, even when everything is overwhelmingly blah.
What can I even say about this book, other than that Meg Heriford is a genuine gift to this community and I don't know what we would be like without her? Her life-affirming, empathetic updates on Facebook regularly remind me the world is, in fact, a good place to be.
-Kimberly Lopez is a Readers' Services Assistant at Lawrence Public Library.