I have a noisy brain, one that doesn’t stop chattering no matter how nicely I ask it to stop. Meditating is my nightmare. In yoga class, I sometimes leave before Savasana just to avoid being left alone with my own thoughts. But place a book in my hands, and I can sit quietly for hours while the Let’s Just Go Fishing And Not Come Back At All Shirt Apart from…,I will love this rest of the world falls away. Last year I read 53 books, the year before that 52, and 48 the year before that (which is when I started counting). I use every available opportunity to squeeze in a few pages, whether it’s 20 minutes on the subway or five minutes waiting for a friend who’s late for dinner. Reading is my primary form of self-care, the thing I turn to just as much when I’m happy as when I’m sad.
There’s rarely an instance in which I do not have a book with me, and I’ve been known to whip them out at rather inappropriate times. Just last month I packed three books for a 48-hour bachelorette weekend in Vermont. Shockingly, I only finished one. I’ve always relied on books to transport me to another world, one where my own problems don’t exist, so it’s especially heartbreaking that I haven’t found comfort in their pages now when I need it the Let’s Just Go Fishing And Not Come Back At All Shirt Apart from…,I will love this most. For the past three weeks, while social distancing alone in my one-bedroom apartment, I haven’t been able to read. It’s as if there’s a fog cast over my brain, preventing the words from seeping in. Over and over I find myself reaching the bottom of the page only to realize I hadn’t the faintest idea what I’ve just read.