I was late for work this morning. It wasn't just boot camp; though because of that I did stand in the shower for longer than absolutely nec. reflecting on the futility of you, know, stuff - like attempting to lift my arms above my head. And it wasn't just the morning sun ministering to my shattered body and psyche while I ate my breakfast - it was such a healing balm, I lingered there a while longer soaking up the rays, feeling everything slowly relaxing and unravelling. It was mostly because I was staring at the bookshelf for so long, trying to decide what book to read next.
Over this past year reading has completely taken over my life, the way it did when I was a kid. If I was sitting up all night reading no one ever came and told me to turn the light off and go to sleep, so I'd sit up night after night turning pages, completely absorbed in all the strange new worlds opening up to me. And the books that I really loved - as opposed to just loved - I'd read over and over; jumping back into those same worlds, reliving all the same feelings I had when I first read them, never tiring of a single word. As if all that feverish reading could make me part of the book.
That all calmed down and even died out as I got older but somehow, in the last twelve months or so, it's all come back to me. I don't do the up-all-night reading thing because my need for eight hours of the dreamless conquers all, but I do find myself itching to get back to a book to find out what happens next and recapturing that feeling of being transported utterly from where I am to somewhere else. When I turn the last page of a book I find myself caught between wanting to jump into the next one, wanting to just keep reading, and contemplating the one I've just finished; letting all the emotions and sensations linger on and on until they fade away of their own accord. In 2008 I read Never Let Me Go and finishing it was like waking in the morning in a mood that you just can't shake, in the grip of a strange, forgotten dream. I found sadness constantly niggling at the back of my brain for a few days, but it was enjoyable to indulge it, savouring the effect of the book. The Raw Shark Texts was the same, and more so, wrapping me in a fog for days after I'd finished while I slowly digested it.
I still haven't chosen a book. I don't have to be anywhere tomorrow so if it's a sunny morning I'll find a friendly sunbeam to sit in while I contemplate my next adventure a little further.