Let me tell you about a seriously dark day in my recent past.
It was a Thursday in October. I decided to drive to work, something that I don’t normally do but it meant that I’d be able to get to work earlier and, crucially, that I’d be able to leave and start my weekend sooner.
When I drive, I know that I’m losing out on nearly two hours of reading time. I do not make this decision lightly. But, I also know that I’ll still have my lunch break to read so a book always gets tucked in my bag anyway.
On this particular day, I forgot to bring a book with me.
Do you need a minute to process this? That’s ok. Take your time, I’ll wait.
I realized that I didn’t have any reading material with me as soon as I got to work. My mind started racing with questions: What would I do with my lunch? Go to the bookstore? Go to the library? Would I just pick a book and start reading it? Or spend the whole time browsing?
In the end, I decided that I’d go to the library. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by all the books I have at home to read so if I added to that pile via the library, at least there’d be less guilt over not reading them.
But then! When I got to the library, I didn’t care about any of the books I saw. I didn’t want to read any of them. I was just lamenting the fact that I had forgotten my book. I didn’t care about Ian Rankin, books about Versailles, classics or books that had been on my list for ages. Nothing struck my fancy. I didn’t even wander up to non-fiction to see what was on offer.
It was all very unsettling.
Finally, as I was nearing the end of the alphabet, Zadie Smith’s NW jumped out at me. An odd choice given how I felt about White Teeth last year. But because her new novel is about to come out, Smith seems to be everywhere and I’m very drawn to her.
And then, I ran back to H and grabbed Juliet, Naked because I remembered that I always enjoy Nick Hornby. Pretty sure I have Chelsey @ Chels and a Book to thank for that!
So my tale ends happily: I had reading for the day in question, I’m jazzed about reading and I finished the book that I had so sadly forgotten at home. Just a momentary blip of bookish insanity.
What do you do if you don’t have reading material with you?