Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Back to Life, Back to Reality

I’m an all-or-nothing sort of gal. I have a difficult time devoting a little bit of time to any one thing without devoting all of my time to that thing. Either I’m hyper focusing on something, or else I have the attention span of a gnat. Once I get started on an idea, on a project, on an obsession, the ties that bind me to it are virtually unbreakable. (Unfortunately, this is only true with things that hold my attention- housework….not so much, much to my Mister’s chagrin.) This is even truer when it comes to books. If you are a reader, you know what it’s like to lose yourself in a book. To voraciously devour word after word and not notice the pages as they swiftly fly by until you subconsciously notice that the end of the story that has trapped you is in sight. Now that I have allowed that first love back into my life, I am completely under its spell and am having a difficult time breaking off the imaginary tales spun from an author’s deft hand and living within the confines of my “real” life. (I think that Libby from yesterday’s comments understands this. She’s my new blog friend- you should check out her blog- it’s filled with both crochet and knit loverlies!)

I have now started a book entitled, The Thirteenth Tale. I am totally and completely ensnared. This is a wonderful occurrence in the life of a reader, when the story encapsulates you wholly and completely until the very last words on the page releases you from its iron clad grasp. However, it’s not so wonderful when the lines between real and literary life begin to blur. I get stuck in a daze reliving the lives of the characters in my mind’s eye when I’m supposed to be living my life at home or at work. Their adventures are projected on my internal movie screen during any idle moments I’m able to snatch throughout the day (driving, in between clients, during private times utilizing the facilities….) and I end up being jolted back to reality with the adrenaline rush experienced when you are suddenly woken up out of a deep sleep.

Even though I know that reading is my escape mechanism of choice and that once I’ve “escaped” it’s ever so difficult to reacquaint myself with reality, I don’t care. At least, not right now. I NEED to finish this book. I cannot resume normal life activities until I know what the Thirteenth Tale is. Crochet and laundry and dinner…what are these next to the thrilling escapades brought to life in the pages of this book? Every time I shut it so that I can do something silly like earn money, I feel like I am somehow pausing the lives of these characters. They cannot exist unless I am there to see them live. They only have 400 pages to live their life- if my daily life must be put on hold for a few hours to allow these characters to flourish within the confines of these covers, then so be it.

My Mister knows this about me. He found it out early in our marriage when he tried taking my book (Hercule Poirot’s Christmas) away from me as I was brushing my teeth. I had it clasped so tightly in my hand that it ripped in two. (He was trying to have a conversation with me and was trying to be “playful.” He’s lucky he still has his arms.) It took me a verrrry long time to forgive him for that. He knows that it’s virtually impossible to get me to focus on something if I have yet to finish my book (or purse, or Mario blanket). He really is a very good man and is extremely patient with me. He’s the organized, logical, neat-freak and I’m the impulsive, disorganized, dreamer. We have enough differences to keep it interesting and a lot of love to keep it together. Sure, I’m a dreamer, but I’ve got enough of a Realist in me to realize I’ve got something good and no book or other distraction in the world will be able to tear it away from me. Even though I get so easily lost in other characters’ stories, our life story is The One I cannot get enough of and I am anxiously awaiting to find what is on the next page.

Until my next reading break, it truly is back to life, back to reality.....


  1. Thanks for the shout out! :-) I have two books by Isabelle Allende on my shelf - Daughter of Fortune and The Infinite Plan. The second one I started but haven't finished...kept being distracted so I'll probably have to start over or skim to remember what was going on.

    This post makes me want to pick up a good book...sadly, it will have to wait because they are all-consuming. :-)

  2. Oooh- Daughter of Fortune is one of my favorites. She also wrote a re-imagining of Zorro. :) If you enjoy a good gothic romance/mystery, you need to check out The Thirteeth Tale. I absolutely could not stop reading it! Very satisfying all around. :)