On Depression, Reading, and Renewal

Hello, friends! It’s been a while.

 

If you’ve been following Fine Print for a few years, then you might have noticed an abrupt and distinct lack of content around here. The honest truth is that I’ve hardly done any leisure reading in the past couple years. While trying to adjust to major upheavals in my personal and professional life, I’ve felt so depleted that picking up a book seemed almost Herculean.

 

I guess I forgot how it felt to read a book and just enjoy it. To feel energized by reading. To feel, well. Not depressed.

 

But lately, I’ve felt a restlessness building in me, one that I can only describe as a thirst for other worlds, other voices, other lives. I think that I’m finally at the place where if I put energy into something, I might actually get energy back from it.

 

I’ve decided that what I really need is a kick in the ass. In 2020, I will be reading 52 books. I’ve written the titles of 52 books that I already own on pieces of paper, put them into a mason jar, and I’ll be drawing a new title each week. If you’re thinking, “that’s a big goal for someone who hardly reads anymore, why not ease into it?” then you are certainly wiser than I am. Because nothing motivates me like an individual commitment to an arbitrary goal! Well, that and announcing it to anyone who will listen.

The Jar in Question

In all honesty, this project has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start. It’s only the second month and I’m already behind by two books! Drawing titles at random from the TBR jar means that I can’t really read according to my mood, which makes me cranky. I suspect that’s because I don’t like being told what to do…even if it’s by my own creation.

 

It might just be a reading goal, but I think this project has the potential to challenge me deeply. At its core, it’s about confronting my relationship with leisure reading and depression. I’m honestly a little scared by how public I’ve made this. But I still have that thirsty feeling, that itching for story, so I’m pushing on.

 

Watch this space.

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