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. 💛 Things are changing, but for the better.