Monday, April 13, 2015

Long Hours of Reading While Ill

I recently came back from three weeks of travel, mainly for conferences but also to visit a good friend (thus the paucity of posts here during that time). I had a wonderful time in three different cities out east. Along the way (perhaps on one of those airplanes full of coughing people?), I picked up an illness, the main symptoms of which were a very bad cough and extreme fatigue. I have been back just over a week, and have been gradually recovering, but only yesterday did I feel close to normal again. What does this have to do with books and reading? Well, once I had acknowledged that there was no way I was going to get any work done, beyond responding to emails and a few basic errands and chores (and, yes, a couple of posts on this blog!) (and fortunately I am on sabbatical so didn’t have to arrange coverage for classes), I realized that the only upside to illness (and I rarely get sick, so had forgotten this) is that the one thing I still feel like doing when sick is – of course! – reading. Fortunately I had a newly acquired pile of novels and short story collections available, and so I dived in. Of course I sometimes dozed off while reading, and sometimes didn’t even have the energy to read at all. But I did read for many hours over the past week, finishing several books, (mostly) without the slight guilt I sometimes feel when I read for hours, feeling I “should” be doing something else – writing, other work commitments, housework, correspondence, exercise, errands, etc. I will post on those books in the next few days. I’m very glad to be feeling much better, but slightly sad to leave that other world, the world where (debilitating but temporary) illness takes over and normal work goes by the wayside, the world of long days of getting lost in wonderful fiction.
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