When reading becomes more than just a hobby..

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Warning: This might come off as a very narcissistic post (lol!), please bear with me.
This has been a bit of an incredibly 'blah' week so far for me, and it's only Wednesday. Blah here meaning not boring, rather frustrating and stressful. It's due to a mixture of many things; work, school, and stability-related issues, personal little things.. but let's not go there..
I won't clarify much, but the thing is, I just have this constant worry of getting left behind -- figuratively. There is this constant pressure that asks me, "Where am I going to end up?" "Will I be what I want to be 5 years later?" Then of course, there is the fear of disappointing people that I care for & love, and vice versa. I feel as if I am locked in a room with bombs ticking around, and time is running out. Have you ever felt this way before?
The last few weeks have been one of the hardest times for me, and last night, I felt completely overwhelmed with everything. For hours, I didn't know what to do. I tried to sleep at midnight but could not. By 2am, I was still up. I had to get some sleep, because I had to wake up at 6:30 in the morning. By 3:00, I finally decided to just let it go; this was when I picked up a book and started to read. The next thing I know, it was already 5am. My reading time lasted for just a few hours, but for that amount of time, I actually stopped thinking about all the problems and the circumstances I had to face. The worrier in me 'vanished' for a bit, and took a much-needed break. When I was done reading, I finally slept, completely relaxed. The best part? Today, I don't even feel bad/upset anymore.
These are the times that reading becomes more than just a hobby; when pages are no longer just pages anymore, and when I realize how much genuine love I have for books and reading. They become a form of escapism -- the kind that takes away the fears, doubts, stress, and the occassional sadness -- even for just a little while. It is, in a way, a solace. A refuge.

How about you? Do you ever feel this way? Do books and reading ever 'save' you? I know for me, they have the ability to keep me sane. I truly can not imagine life without them.


  1. Thank you for your wonderful post, it has made me think a lot about reading. I have a lot of bad days, or so it seems, and I read to get away from my life and to go into maybe a more "sane" life. But I completely agree with you that reading becomes more than just a hobby. Thanks again for this post.

    And I'm so glad that reading helped you sleep and then you had a good day. It just shows the power of reading.

  2. Absolutely. Reading has helped me on a sleepless night, when I was upset, in my teen years it helped me feel normal, feel like I had friends. I love reading and I feel like it loves me back.

  3. I came to this same conclusion at the beginning of last year. I was in a terrible, awful place and I found that the best way to get really into a book.
    I'm finding now that I'm really lost as to where my future is taking me, I can't seem to stop reading. I know soon I'm going to have to put down anything I'm reading and make some hard choices, but I'm grateful for the stack of unread novels next to my bed right now.

  4. My whole blog was inspired and started by emotion. I was so down on myself for not having a full time job that I needed something, anything to occupy my time. So, I turned to the 2 things I love the most: reading and writing.

    That is not to say that by losing myself in reading and blogging that things have magically become better. I am still down about my situation, but things are looking up.

    I had an incredibly emotional experience reading a book earlier this year (The Dollmaker by Harriette Arnow). When I finished it, I was so unbelievably moved by the power of the story. The characters suffered so much, but in the end, they still had hope. That one novel and that experience has kept me going for a few months now. And when I think things can't get any worse, I like to remember what i do have.

  5. COMPLETELY AGRRE!!! I actually have been diagnosed with an "anxiety disorder" and reading is the only thing that calms me (I think all university students have anxiety disorders lol)!! You need a break from your problems, and reading about other peoples always helps.

    GREAT post!

  6. Absolutely!!! I've noticed many bloggers in the last month who are feeling stressed and pulled in many directions. Balance is the key.

    I don't use reading as an escape from the world, but after some stressful years it helped bring some enjoyment back into it. I thought, "what is something I used to enjoy?" Reading of course, so I joined 2 book clubs and later found the world of blogging.

    I'm glad you found a respite from your day's concerns.

  7. P.S. I have a couple of awards for you... (queen bee)

  8. man that post was really touching i know exactly what you mean, reading takes us to this place where every things ok, and the only worry is the characters your reading, i hope things become ok with you, i feel bad now, stay strong girl :)

  9. @Morgan: It definitely shows the power of reading, and I think based on the comments following after you, it has spread its power over to them as well. Thank you so much for even thinking this is a worthwhile post..

    @Carin: Gosh, that is the perfect way to say it -- it made me smile when I read it. "I love reading and I feel it loves me back."

    @Letter4no1: Yes, they definitely offer refuge, as we try to face life head on.

    @Allie: I read your About Me and commented on it too a couple of weeks ago so I completely understand where you're coming from. Reading&blogging doesn't make it better, but it definitely calms/warms our hearts and minds.
    I have never read The Dollmaker, but it sounds so wonderful I might have to push that up to my top5 in my TBR list. Like I said with the comment, just keep your head and keep going. Things will look up, as I believe we all get what we truly deserve eventually :)

    @Sarah: Anxiety is hard enough, it must be hard to be diagnosed with it. I'm really glad you get a well-deserved break through books as well.

    @Kim: Books and reading definitely bring enjoyment to me as well :) And having 2 book clubs sure sounds fun!

    @StephtheBookworm: Yeah, I think we all have days like these.

    @blueicegal: Aw, that is such a sweet thing to say. Thank you so much. Like many of us, we will all get through it, we will be okay. You too, have great days ahead :)