“He devoured books like popcorn.”
The Sparrow Marry Doria Russell
If I admitted to being a true addict about something, it would be reading books. I’m aware that many in the blogosphere have already extensively covered the joyful world of literature far better than I could adequately express. However, I genuinely feel inspired to write of my deep and delicious love for the written word. I do not jest when I admit to addiction. Addiction is defined as a compulsive use of a habit forming substance, and that withdrawal from that substance leads to very specific and obvious physiological and psychological consequences (paraphrased from here). I can’t even claim that withdrawal from knitting has any effect similar to that of being without something to read. Knitting is more of a way to channel my need for motion in the midst of stillness, but reading a book is the only stillness from which I rarely ever wished to be removed. Ask anyone who has had the displeasure of interrupting me from a book. I am cranky, short tempered, and quite distracted until I have the opportunity to curl back into the words. Some books are like popcorn, far too easy to consume them quickly with only the desire to keep inhaling the buttery goodness. Others, rich as chocolate mousse, meant to be savored from the moment you gently scoop with your spoon, to the last instant the pudding has melted in your mouth. Books have always been my hiding places, my delight that patterned an otherwise monochromatic grayscale that threatened to be my life. I can’t tell you how much it causes me pain when I hear a kid (whether masquerading as an adult or not) say they don’t like to read. I feel affronted, moved to an evangelistic passion that sometimes my faith will not even inspire. How can someone not understand the vast wealth of words? How can anyone not surface from reading without that glorious feeling of disembodiment; the feeling that, for an instant, you were free of all that governs you and all that you do? I am addicted to this substance, this stuff of words and worlds beyond our normal sensitivity. I am beyond reason on this matter.