I am some exciting news that I couldn’t help but share with you, I have invited my friend and new mommy to Layla Faye, Emily Adams as a guest blogger on my blog! Emily’s blog, “LEmily’s LEmmings” is featured on the parenting and pregnancy Web site “What To Expect” (www.whattoexpect.com).
Her most recent blog post cracked me up as she talks about her “relationship” with books! All of it was so true! Here is her post, but don’t forget to visit her blog site http://www.whattoexpect.com/blogs/lemilyslemmings.
April 30, 2011
A Non-Baby Blog…Well, Almost
Being an exclusive breastfeeder, I find myself with a lot of time on my hands. Not that I can do much with it, considering I’m glued to one spot for a half an hour every three hours, and the fact that I have only one hand free during that time. But I finally got the hang of reading while breastfeeding. (Hint: Heavy books are not the way to go. Poor Layla probably won’t get a scholarship to Yale or Harvard, since I dropped “What to Expect Your First Year” on her head at least three times before realizing I needed some “lighter” reading.)
However, now that I’m reading at the rate I’ve been trying to get to for years, I realized why once I got married, I didn’t need books the way I used to. I feel like I’m back in college again, only instead of going from one relationship to the next with different guys, it seems every time I finish a book, I go through my old breakup routine! It’s like, I get to the end and, even as the book is telling me “it’s not you, it’s me that’s ending this relationship”, I know, deep down, it is me. I should have appreciated the book more, I should have taken the relationship slower. I spent so many hours with the book, just the two of us. I should have given the book more space. It’s my fault the “relationship” was over so fast.
“But, Emily, you knew this wouldn’t last” the book seems to say, as I turn the last page, hoping for one more paragraph in vain. “You knew from the very start that it would end. I’m sure you’ll find another book that’ll make you just as happy. Maybe even happier.”
“No,” I seem to shout. “I won’t! It took me so long to find a book that made me as happy as you did! You speak to me in a way I understand and want to hear more of!”
Then, I’ll turn the book over in my hands, reminiscing about the nights we spent together, me falling asleep with it, reading the same paragraph over and over again until I realize my eyes are too heavy to go on, only to wake up with the book lovingly waiting for me on my nightstand.
I’ve watched as my husband gets a new book, hastily removing the dust cover because he can’t be bothered with it, and devour it, no, ravish it (since I’m jealous I’ll never get to really write that word, unless I get into writing books with Fabio on the cover…or if someone hires me as a food critic and I end up at an all-you-can-eat sushi place during P.M.S.). I could never do that! I could never treat a book like some sort of slave to my every whim. I cherish my books. I’ll admit, I use dust covers as bookmarks, but I’ve never done permanent damage to the actual book this way. Oh, except the sixth and seventh Harry Potter book. Now, those dust covers were just too small to be used as bookmarks for very long.
Speaking of Harry Potter, it’s bad enough finishing a book, but getting to the last book in a series is like being slapped with divorce papers…on your birthday…in front of all your family and friends.
“Wait, what? It’s over? Just like that? All the loose ends…well, I guess they’re tied up. But there’s got to be more!”
“Sorry,” says the last book of the series. The same series you counted down the days until the next book was released. The same series you sacrificed hours, days and weeks, even months reading! You gave up your money, your time, your figure (OK, I can’t be the only one who’s inadvertently eaten an entire box of cookies without noticing while engrossed in a really good chapter) for this series! This is the series that got you through last year’s flu. The same series you cancelled plans with an out-of-town friend for when the main character was having a crisis and you just couldn’t put it down. The same series that you’ve actually looked up (don’t laugh, you know you’ve at least wondered about it) fan fiction about or read any and all online reviews–which, let’s just be honest, is pretty much the same as Facebook stalking. And, don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve let my clothes get spit-up or breastmilk on, simply because the book I was reading had me too hooked to care.
You wish you could say all those things to your series (and the author, for that matter) and finish it off with, “and this is the thanks I get? You’re just done?!”
But you learn to cope. You don’t really see other books. You may go back to a favorite book that’s dog-eared, or read a few magazine articles (the reading equivalent of a one-night stand, I suppose), or you just decide not to read for a while. But then you get lonely. Oh, sure, there are real, live people to interact with. And there’s always television, where you don’t have to think–let’s consider this the “easy” relationship that doesn’t really give you much gain, but it doesn’t hurt you either…although, I won’t say I didn’t feel a longing when “Friends” aired it’s last episode.
Cookbooks don’t count, by the way. I don’t think anyone feels a sense of loss when they finish a cookbook. I’m perfectly happy finding a great recipe and going back to the page over and over again to use it. Cookbooks are like fuck buddies, let’s just be realistic here. You’re not reading them for the plot or the writing, you want easy reading. And, if a recipe expects more than you’re willing to give, you just move on to the next one. Encyclopedias (who has hard copies of those anymore, I wonder) and dictionaries don’t count either, since I’m going to put reference books into the category of books that’s equivalent to acquaintances or, in the case of any type of writer, coworkers. The books that breakup with you, though, are the ones you yearn for.
You look back to that fateful day you stepped into the bookstore, a few extra dollars on hand. You browsed the aisles, not searching for anything in particular. Until….there, you saw it. Its brightly colored spine (or dark, smouldering spine, depending on your preference) was staring at you. You forget all the rules of “don’t judge a book by their cover” and pick up the book. The cover greets you with a picture that intrigues you. As you turn over the book to read the back cover synopsis, you find yourself twirling your hair or biting your lip flirtaciously, wanting to know more about this fascinating-so-far book. You slip away to a quiet corner of the bookstore to read a few pages and get better acquainted. Before you know it, you’ve paid your bill (read: bought the book) and are heading home, book in hand, and heading straight for the living room or even, if you’re a “fast” girl like me, to the bedroom to really get into the book. As you read into the night, you wonder how you ever lived without this book. You can’t wait to tell your friends about the book, but hope they haven’t already read the book, since you want to be the one who made the “discovery” on this one. Over the course of the “relationship”, the book has not only been your bedtime companion, but you’ve taken it on car rides, to the doctor’s office, to your parents’ house, on picnics and to coffeehouses, all the while not thinking ahead to the future and living in the present: just you and Book.
Which brings us to today. The day the book broke up with you. The day you sadly put it on your bookshelf, next to other books that “broke your heart”. As you look at the collection of books, you wonder to yourself, “Will there ever be a book I won’t have to put down or finish?” No, my poor friend. At least not a series that doesn’t end up being ghostwritten sooner or later, as the ideas stop flowing for the original author. Oh, and if the author dies, you’re also out of luck. Unless you happen to be reading a book by Tupac. He’s apparently done tons of things we’re just now discovering, even after his death.
But I digress. Back to the bookshelf. As you look over your bookshelf, you also see the books you’ve started reading, only to realize that you, not the book, had to end the relationship. You see the bookmarks stuck part of the way through. Should you pick it up and attempt to read it again? Ugh, but you weren’t able to commit to it before…but maybe you’ve changed! Or maybe the book will get better with time! I mean, you hit it off so well when you first picked it up, right? You start to read it, attempting to find some sort of endearing quality about it. Alas, it was just a rebound book. It still doesn’t grab your attention and you’re back to square one, looking for another book to make you as happy as the one that just broke up with you.
I don’t really have any advice for you, other than what can be found in, “It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Break-up Guide” by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt. But, I have to warn you, that book has an ending, so even after you feel you’ve utilized that book to get through one book-breakup, you’ll just be going through another when you finish with it. I guess that’s what you’d call a Catch-22…but, I wouldn’t really know since I never was able to get into that book and I am somewhat proud to say I was the one who ended that relationship.