Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Why fiction might be bad for your health...

So I have pretty much avoided fiction books for the last 13 years because I have this horrible tendency to never be able to put the book down once I start. I have stuck with your lovely theological seminars, self help type, biblical commentaries because for some reason, I have no problem setting those down when needed. Now, of course, it depends on the quality of the novel, but in general- once I start a story, I can't stop- and all else falls by the wayside. Note: I stopped when my first baby arrived, can't imagine why I suddenly realized I couldn't afford to be distracted by my beloved books. :) I still have read the books my kids read over the years, to offer guidance and insight, and make sure I know what might be filling their daydreams, but those can usually be finished in the few hours of quiet before my family wakes. I haven't picked up books "for just me" in years. This last two weeks, with being snowed in, destroyed my carefully crafted resolve, and I have been FORCED to re-read many of my old favorites, and unfortunately, I think the addiction is in full swing again! Alcott, Tolkien, Stowe, Austin,Montgomery, even Shakespeare- have drawn me in this week and absorbed much too much of my attention...and I loved every minute of it! It actually started with the Twilight series a few weeks ago, as I HAD to read the books to censor certain chapters so Jasmine could read them per her request (don't ask why I then RE-READ them 3 times...yeah, all 4), but that seems to have tipped me right over the edge. Now I am horribly tempted to go spend a hundred bucks on Amazon to find more great books, and my question is- can I balance my love of all things fiction, with my other responsibilities? Should I attempt it? Is my life in a place, and my personal growth CAPABLE of moderation when the DRAW... of beautiful monologues, intriguing conspiracies, and lovely scenes that the human imagination paints more vibrantly than any movie so strong? Can I "relish the bouquet without tasting the wine"? Truly, the drive to read "just one more chapter" for me is akin to an alcoholics drive to sit at the bar- or so I am told. Do I have the strength, can I "just say no"? This might be ridiculous to you, but in my list of Top Ten Things Wrong With Me- this is number 8. Is there anything you have been drawn to so much in life you had to quit cold turkey? And if so, did you ever outgrow it, and finally be able to enjoy the pastime, experience, whatever, in moderation? I would love to know. I truly believe God gave us such great imaginations because He has the best one, and I think He LOVES stories, so my love of the stories is not the problem- I don't think- it is my all-consuming NEED to finish it at all costs that terrifies me (picture 16 year old girl driving mother's minivan down populated highway with book in hand because it was "too good of a part to stop"...yeah, terrifying, guardian angels present for said teenager and all other drivers...praise God for His mercy!).

Well, Considering we have another 4 inches of snow on the ground this morning (in addition to the original 3 FEET), I believe today I will be FORCED to pick up another great book and test myself. So ask me this evening if the chores were completed, the children fed, presents wrapped...and what page I am on. Hehehehe

1 comment:

KEI said...

Okay, so first of all I can't get over how much snow you have!!! That is so cool, I just hope you guys are staying warm and have enough food and all! Second, I TOTALLY have the same problem with books, but I'm not nearly as disciplined with it as you are!!! I find myself ignoring all responsibilities or, I stay up WAY too late and finish reading it. They consume me, day and night. I think about it if I'm not reading it and dream about it at night! So, you're not alone in your addiction, and of course the first step is to admit it! Your're doing good in my book! Have a merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! We love you and miss you and can't wait to see you again soon! In Him,