It comes when I have other things to do, the will to read, to write, to brainstorm, to post.
I’m currently studying for finals. I have less than a month left to write an assignment and three exams – trying not to panic here. Last thursday, after delivering one of my assignments, I felt I should reward myself, so I went to city centre and did two things: I went to a restaurant and tried a new delicious dish, staying there for over an hour to appreciate every single bite; and – the big mistake – I went to a bookstore.
If you’ve been following me for a while and know about my current WIP, you might think I went straight to the crime fiction hall, but there’s another side to me I haven’t quite talked about yet, and that is: I’m a sucker for middle grade fiction, and I even have plans to write one of my own. So there I am, an innocent book lover walking into the trap of the middle grade hall, suddenly surrounded and overwhelmed by an army of beautifully illustrated book covers… I was weak. Before I knew it, different books had passed through my hands, I read countless blurbs, took pictures of the covers from the ones I thought I’d enjoy so I wouldn’t forget to add them to my “to read” list later… one particular book followed me even while I was reading other blurbs, I just couldn’t put it back in its place, I held it in my hands until the very moment I decided to leave the store. It was A Place Called Perfect, by Helena Duggan.
I didn’t buy it, mostly because I kept telling myself I’m leaving Ireland in less than a month and I already have too many new acquirements to fit into my bags… but the book wouldn’t leave my mind. It just looked and sounded so whimsical, it intrigued me in a way I find difficult to experience nowadays. So, that same night, I opened kindle and downloaded the sample chapters. That was my second mistake. I loved those two and a half chapters, and really wanted to dive into the world. I was reminded of what used to make me stay up at night without my parents’ knowledge, and my body got all tingly with excitement. I had a hard time falling asleep, but somehow managed to do it.
Fast forward to today (I spent these last days forcing myself to work on my next assignment), the book was still in my mind, and I finally gave in: I bought it. On kindle. Digitally.
To be honest, I prefer physical books, especially when their covers are as gorgeous as this one. However, I’ll be moving countries quite a few times for the next couple of years, and I won’t be able to take every book I buy along with me. That’s the reason I got the kindle app in the first place, and it was honestly a life-saver, despite my love-hate relationship with it. But enough rambling; I’m confronted with yet another problem now – to read or not to read.
Reading really does waken my imagination (and inspiration) and I suddenly really feel like being myself. Reading, writing, daydreaming, letting myself dive into the realm of stories… creating… that’s what I feel best doing. But it’s not my current priority, which saddens me. Right now, I have to be in 95% student mode, 3% fitness enthusiast mode, 2% myself mode.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for my education. I’m thankful for the opportunity to study in a foreign country. I’m thankful for the experience of learning. However, deadlines really stress me out and I really do feel detached from my true self during finals. It’s not a good feeling and often leads me to depression. I guess I’m writing this post because I want to record this moment when a book reminded me of my own identity, which I felt I was losing again for the past few weeks. It might have been a mistake to buy it at such a critical time of my academic life, but it made me happy, and I wanted to share that with you, fellow book lovers.
How do books make you happy? Which kind of book do you pick up when you need to escape the real world? Let me know!
Under a lucky star,