That’s it. I am not going to the bookstore. Never mind that I have a quiet (read “kid-free”) afternoon and evening. Ignore the educator discount sale, granting K-12 educators 25% off all books. Resist the lure of all those ideas and information bound up and collected in a place with coffee. I’m staying put.
I’m an absolute book junkie. New, used, borrowed, I love them all. Paperback Swap, my local libraries, any bookstore. But my shelves are full — double-stacked in places, and I need nothing. I have dozens of books still unread, books I really want to read. My children’s shelves aren’t lacking either, so I can’t use their need to read as an excuse just to be in a place with all those books
Several of my most recent acquisitions are books about writing. Though stacked neatly next to my favorite reading chair, they’ve had no effect on my writing. I’m not blogging more often. I have yet to compose a query for articles that remain half-baked in my brain. I haven’t even finished my holiday thank-you notes. There the books remain, most bindings uncreased and pages largely unread. Hmm.
The stack of guides for spiritual seekers of all kinds take similar rest on my nightstand. Several sport bookmarks a quarter to halfway in. Despite the number that I’ve begun (and, to my credit, the number I’ve finished), I’ve yet to commit to regular spiritual practice. My meditation cushion is downright lonely. Huh.
I’ve sought solutions in the written word for as long as I can remember. Curious about a subject? Bring home that section from the library. Considering a new course of study? Collect texts and tomes. Concerned about self/children/marriage/the world? Read more books.
I’m not advocating an end to reading, and I’m not vowing to stop purchasing, borrowing, and swapping books, but I’m raising my own awareness of the obvious fact that reading alone isn’t equivalent to taking action. It fails to fix problems and develop new habits. It can encourage and inspire, inform and distress, entertain and perplex, but it doesn’t write the essay, conquor the clutter, or care for the children.
So I’m staying home. I’m sure I’ll read from my burgeoning shelves tonight, but first, I’ll finish that thank-you note, and that’s a start.