Lately I have found myself doing a lot of re-reading, despite my goal to finish all the unread books that clutter my shelves (of which there are many) before I start school this fall. And what I’ve been re-reading! I’m craving the most mindless, frivolous books I have ticked away on the bottom, dusty, hidden shelves: YA Lit by Megan McCafferty. The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. I’m even tempted to go for some Anne Rice. It is not a coincidence that I’ve been really stressed out lately.
Just as I crave mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese when life is throwing me for a loop, I find myself reaching for comfort books. I am one of those people who can read the same things over and over again, which is part of the reason I never get rid of books, even the cheesy, silly ones. The familiar characters and stories and plots, the sense that I know exactly what’s going to happen next, always makes me feel more secure. I can forget about the open chasm of the unknown in my own story. I can spend time with people (er, ok, fictional people) who will never surprise me or disappoint me. It’s pure escapism, and not just into someone else’s adventures, but into adventures you already know backwards and forwards. It’s almost better than mashed potatoes.
I don’t always reach for the trash on the shelves, like I have been lately. There are a number of books in my collection I’ve read more than I can count–The Time Traveler’s Wife, Harry Potter, E.M. Forster, White Teeth. But sometimes it is the mindlessness that I really want–just something I don’t have to think about, to give my brain a break.
So what is it I’ve been stressing out about lately? Graduate school. More specifically, how to pay for it. I think it’s funny that I’m going into debt for library school when being a librarian isn’t going to make me much money after it’s all said and done. Ahh well. Living on $15,000 a year will be an adventure.