Yesterday, I did something that I have never done before, but that I felt inspired to do, in a weird way. I love going to the Naperville library. I’ve been going there since college, since I went to college a few blocks away. It’s a great library, huge, with floor-to-ceiling windows. I go there all the time. I spend some time looking through the catalog, writing down the numbers, and then tracking the books down. Sometimes I head straight home with them and sometimes I sit there awhile and read some of them.
But I never leave the library without checking out a book.
Yesterday was Sunday, and our library has extended hours from 1-9pm on Sundays until next summer. So I went to the library and created what I’m going to call “Thin Book Day.”
I wandered the bookshelves, not even remotely sure which section of the Dewey Decimal System I was in. If I spotted a book that looked thin – under 150 pages – I pulled it out, regardless of topic. Before long I had a stack of about twelve of them. I took them to one of the Quiet Study tables, where I had already dumped my purse and my Surface (which is to blame for these frequent blog updates after months of silence), and just went through and read them all one by one.
The result was, of course, that I got a lot of reading done in a couple hours. I was able to read through a variety of different subjects, from slave narratives to books about Wicca to a collection of essays on White privilege. I didn’t find myself tiring of any of the subjects because I was already done with the book before I had time to register that I was bored!
Here’s a stack of some of the titles I went through:
Mostly because of work (and my love of sleep) I rarely have time to read for fun anymore. I mean, sure, I manage to read for my book club gatherings, but I don’t read for fun nearly as much as I used to, or as much as I would like to.
It’s October and I’m only 59 books into my 100 book reading challenge! I used to be able to finish 200 books a year without breaking a sweat! (When I started working I would make it to like 120-150 or whatever, but still, that was alright, but this year has just been a crapshoot.)
Reading for fun is one of the best ways for me to relax. It’s even better than lying on the couch watching “Bob’s Burgers” or sitting out on the deck with a drink and just watching the squirrels have sex in the tree right in front of me because that is WHAT THEY DO LITERALLY ALL THE TIME WHAT THE FUCK IS IT SOMETHING IN THE WATER WHY AM I ASSAULTED WITH HORNY SQUIRRELS EVERY TIME I GO OUTSIDE.
Recreational reading just clears my mind and eases any tension or anxiety I’m experiencing. I leave feeling refreshed and recharged and ready to learn even more (usually about law-related shit, since that’s where most of my energy goes toward).
Today is Monday, and I’m playing hookie and taking a mental health day. But Sunday was almost like a mental health day, which was unexpected. I had no idea that simply wandering the shelves, plucking out books at random based on a completely arbitrary classification I came up with on the spot, and reading through them could be so wonderful and calming.
Thin Book Day is definitely going to become a thing for me – something I might devote a few of my Sunday evenings to while we still have the extended hours at the library. If this appeals to any of you reading this, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it once you try it. Feel free to use the Leave a Note thing in the sidebar on the right, because the comments on this site can be a bit wonky, and people tell me sometimes that they weren’t able to leave a comment, and I have no idea to fix it, so whatever.