I am almost decided that I’m going to stop listening to music. I don’t know if maybe Satan is trying to sabotage my reading experience or what, but it seems like every time I go to sit down and read a book, an annoying pop songs creeps into my ears and settles against the drum, pulsing with all its might into the hollows of my mind. It happened last night as I tried to read Elie Wiesel’s “Night.” I tried to read the book as though he were reading the story, but his voice sounded as though it were coming in from an air vent in my bathroom and I was having to strain my ears to hear properly. Maybe I’m just tired, I thought. My eyes did feel weighed with fatigue, and as I sat down to write this post, I thought it might suit me better to turn off my computer and go to bed, turn in early, start settling down before ten, be the kind of person who wakes up to the hazy, morning sun.
I am sure the Kahlua wasn’t helping, nor the mascara. I told my mother once that mascara weighed on my eyelashes, making me feel tired. She said she thought that was probably just because I stayed up too late the night before. I do find my eyes lighter without the pressure of glutinous, black ink on them, but I knew that had little to do with the music drumming in my ears. I just think Satan knows I’m trying to be a different person by committing more of my time to books than the screen that sits before me as I write this. Of course, I’m applying myself to this task at the moment, so my efforts seem hardly wasted. This could be due in large part to the fact that it is also the only tab open on my browser.
I think my post about Hermione has given me a new sense of myself. I feel both good and bad about this. I feel, on the one hand, renewed and hopeful that I can be more like her. Then I feel, on the other hand, like I should’ve had this feeling already with the story of Jesus. That He alone should’ve provoked this sense of renewal in me. But then I think, maybe part of this feeling is why I fell so hard for Harry Potter, because I had so much to gain from the books, and maybe that is a step God has taken in getting me on track. I still feel bad, though, that I have – in some small way – insulted Jesus. I don’t know. Maybe it’s silly, bantering thoughts. I am sure someone is going to post a comment explaining why I shouldn’t feel this way, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this person may be named Kayla.
I’ve had this feeling lately that I want to purge my bookshelf of books I’ve accumulated over the years since starting college. Even books I have not read. I feel an overwhelming need to minimize my collection. I think this has been buried inside me for a while, but became a stronger sensation over time, especially after reading that my friend Cassie only owns four pairs of shoes, and Ringo on our coffee date saying he liked to keep his belongings sparse so that he could pick up and leave whenever he wanted to without heavy baggage. I’m not saying I want my belongings to be so slim. I’m just saying it sounds less stressful, less heavy. What do I need all these books for? I grazed them all with my eyes as though at a food buffet. Some of these I don’t even care to read anymore. It started with the simple feeling of disinterest I felt towards a book I’ve been reading during the last week. I won’t tell you the title. I don’t want to hurt the author’s feelings. I know I wouldn’t like someone saying they lost interest in my book and had to put it in the pile of Books I Don’t Ever Want To Read.
I was sitting at work during downtime, my leg bouncing against the metal rim underneath my chair. I glanced at the computer, at the counter, my hands, out the window. I thought of the book. I do not want to read this book. The thought came so simply, so honestly. It felt almost sacrilege. I’ve only ever quit reading a handful of books in my life. At one point, I had stopped reading several in a row and felt worried I was losing my touch. But I knew the reason why I wanted to stop reading this particular book was because I wanted to read things that interested me now, and this book I was shoving myself through like walking through thick snow and heavy winds. I wanted to be able to buy a handful of books at once and not worry about them sitting on my bookshelf for four years before finally getting around to them. I wanted to be able to go to the library and check out books in droves without feeling guilty about the piling pages of stories sitting on shelves of plywood in my bedroom. I wanted to be free of that obligation; I wanted to be light. I wanted to read the way I read before. I wanted to re-engage with my passion for words and stories and people. I wanted to not be so hollow and spread thin. I wanted; I want.