Hello Ladies in the Pink!
I used to read a lot. My mum, who recently died**, was a voracious reader. She read every single day, and usually several books at a time. She got me into reading and would always buy me books and suggest a good read. Years ago, I was a publicist at a top literary PR firm, so reading was my livelihood. I was forced to read, which I don’t think is a bad thing. I knew all the top books and I studied the New York Times Book Review like a broker following the stock market. My world was well-read and I was a better person for it.
Nowadays, however, I can go weeks without reading a book. That is tragic my friends, tragic! I worry that we are losing the art of reading. I am going to sound like an old school marm here, but what with YouTube, Facebook, movies, video games, etc., people just can’t seem to commit to sitting down with a good book and just chilling the hell out. You can believe me or not when I say that a book can be transformative. It can be life-changing. It can educate, inform, entertain and excite you. It is the ultimate form of escape. Unlike a movie or video which lays it all out for you so there is no chance of your imagination or viewpoint playing a role, a book allows you to create the story. You visualize what you want. You are an active participant. That’s pretty darn awesome.
I admit that I can watch shows like “Chopped,” “Modern Family” and even some “Mob Wives” for hours. It’s good clean fun and let’s you forget your daily obligations and responsibilities. When my husband and I became obsessed with “Breaking Bad” and “The Tudors” (BEST SHOW EVER!) and “Boardwalk Empire,” I didn’t feel as though I was wasting my time. But when I think about what I got out of these things, I can’t say that I felt enlightened or inspired. But I CAN say that about books that I’ve read. There is something so intimate about reading a book. It’s just you and the book. Your mind and someone else’s words. It is also a completely self-involved indulgence. You can read when you want and stop when you want. You can read what you want, where you want. How fabulous is that? Sometimes I read in the bath. Sometimes I read when I can’t sleep. I love reading on the plane. While all the drones are on their laptops or iPads, I’m holding a good ol’ book. I have never gotten into the electronic reading thing. It’s just not me. I’m not old-fashioned when it comes to most things. I embrace technology. I blog. I like botox. I have pink in my hair. But a book that I can hold and feel is special. I always pass along books that I like to others. I think it’s such a great way to share a bit of yourself, since, after all, a book says a lot about who you are.
This Christmas, in honor of my mum, I am giving all my friends and family a good book to read. I don’t mean this to sound like a public service announcement, but I hope I might have inspired you to read more. I promise, you will like it.
Here are a few of my favorites that can get you going. Note: I have the attention span of a gnat and I get bored VERY easily. These books kept me glued from the start:
SHANTARAM by Gregory David Roberts
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
ALL Books by David Sedaris – you will laugh out loud and it will make you want to be goofy. It also makes you think that your family is not bad after all!
Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell
**NOTE: The “mum” who died, was not my biological mother, whom I have a bad relationship with and about whom I wrote my “I Hate My Mother” piece. This “mum” was my ex-stepmother, who I considered to be my mother. She took on the role willingly, and with all of her heart. It was a great loss and she will be missed. I am gathering my thoughts and hope to write about her soon.