Still Reading

My relationship with reading has changed. Due to the impact it has on this blog, I feel obliged to mention it and talk about what it means for the future.

January has been a strange month, for starters. My life was turned upside down in the first couple of weeks. Not that anything changed on the outside, just on the inside. I knew I had issues to work on, so I spent some time in deep reflection, prayer, and self-guided therapy. There are few things so uncomfortable or humbling as confronting yourself and your circumstances as they really are. It hurt like everything, but after tearing it all down, I saw a way to build everything back up, slowly.

In the middle of this, I found I had been using reading as an emotional crutch, and worse, for a very long time, and that of course wasn’t a very nice thing to realize. I wouldn’t say this is a bad thing inherently, and I am not ashamed of it, only saddened. In fact, it’s something to be proud of, that you had found a way to construct something remotely positive in the midst of trouble. And reading has been positive, for what it was. It’s why, after ten years, I still have a blog and now a YouTube channel that mean more to me than any other of my endeavors on this earth. (forgive the dramatics) It’s true, though.

So I can salvage the good. But I don’t want to read like that anymore, because I can see the collateral damage it caused, and it is not healthy. I have decided to shed the old skeleton and start all fresh. I hit the factory reset button, and honestly, it feels wonderful.

All that said, here is what I am reading currently:

Dubliners by James Joyce – This is the Ireland pick for Reading the World. It’s my first Joyce and so far I am fully intrigued. I did something different this time and listened to the beginning on audiobook read by Andrew Scott, AKA Moriarty from “Sherlock.” I always knew he was a great actor, but wow, he can read. He fully conveys the eeriness in the stories and has the Irish accent which adds a lot. I may end up getting the audiobook, which is something I never do. (New beginnings, again!)

Asian & Pacific Short Stories, published by Tuttle – Inspired by Dubliners, I was browsing Overdrive looking for short stories and stumbled across this obscure volume from 1974. (For context, it was published when South Vietnam still existed as a political entity.) I was enthralled to find this because I have also been looking for something to read for Lunar New Year (February 1). Some of the authors are rather obscure as well, but I read one of the stories last night and found it thought provoking, which gives me hope for the rest of the collection.

As far as book reviewing in general, I have greatly stepped back from reading and intend to do so for a while. I do plan to finish Crime and Punishment, after a break. New reviews will be less frequent, but maybe I will blog about other book-related topics in between. The YouTube channel will follow a similar pattern.

I’m really grateful to all of you who stick around through my ups and downs. πŸ’› Things are changing, but for the better.

15 thoughts on “Still Reading

  1. I understand what you are saying, and I have done more than my share of emotional reading. But for me Books have the straws I have clutched on to, to retain sanity, to seek hope in darkness and get me through the night! They have sustained and encouraged me but they have also entertained me and enriched me. Especially last year, when things kind of fell apart! In fact I did a similar post like yours a while back. But I do feel that you should blog about things you want, try new things like audio books and generally go on new adventures. Reading and writing is a pleasure, and it should not be restrictive or binding! Hang in there, Marian. You have this covered!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, Cirtnecce! I am hesitant to say things were “meant to be,” but if anything was, I know that this journey has made me a stronger person in the end, even if there were some valleys along the way. Here’s to many more adventures for the both of us! πŸ™‚

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  2. I value your thoughts and appreciate you sharing your recent experience. Going forward I’m excited by your dive into Joyce. I love Dubliners and find it sublime, poetic, and deeply moving. It is my recommendation to anyone who wants to experience Joyce for the first time. If you enjoy the cinema you should consider John Huston’s brilliant adaptation of “The Dead”.

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  3. Aw, Marian, I’m sorry the last while has been rough for you but I’m certain, being the genuine and caring person that you are, that you’ll come out of it even stronger. Like Cirtnecce, books have sustained me through many of life’s ups and down but there is a balance and we each must find our own. I hope your new journey brings you many joys! Hugs, Cleo πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cleo, that really means a lot! ❀ Your comments are always uplifting. And I'm excited about continuing this reading life in a new way. πŸ™‚

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  4. Hi, Marian,
    I think it is smart that you were able to find resolution, and so quickly. Trials, conflict, and suffering help grow us. We hate the suffering, and some even try to eliminate all suffering. But in the end, it builds us into the people we become and shapes our world views. So this is good news.

    Liked by 1 person

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