Lately I keep pondering about reading and the effect it has on my head-space. The other day at my London-based book group a few of us picked up on a passage from the book we were reading, July’s People by Nadine Gordimer which I quoted in my review:
“But the transport of a novel, the false awareness of being within another time, place and life that was the pleasure of reading for her, was not possible. She was in another time, place, consciousness…”
Since then I’ve been thinking about that power of being transported by books. Other book-bloggers (A Striped Armchair and Savidge Reads) have also commented on the effect of reading lately from different angles so it’s not just me musing away it seems!
I’ve identified that I actually have a kind of mental struggle when I do want to be taken away in my imagination and I just don’t have the time.
Like many people I read on my commute – a wonderful opportunity to get stuck into a book of course – but what I have noticed recently is that sometimes reading before work actually makes me a little grumpy because I want to stay in the story world and feel dare I say it, resentful of being forced out of it. I actually think that this is not a positive mind-set to have when I really should be focusing on the day ahead.
To counter this ‘book-hangover’ feeling I have been making a special effort to put down my book 5 or 10 minutes before the end of my journey at a convenient point and come into the present and that has actually really worked for me.
Do other people feel frustrated by having to stop reading? While reading is a wonderful escape and source of learning, do you think it can be a negative thing to become too absorbed in books? What do you think?