#51 Heathcliff, It's Me, I'm Cathy
I’ve been a reader my whole life.
As a kid, if I wasn’t parked in front of the TV watching the Bionic Woman or Laverne & Shirley, I was making my way through the library of Nancy Drew books my mom picked up at a garage sale. When I was in middle school, I devoured wartime sagas that had been made into miniseries and contraband books that I’d swiped from my older sisters (The Thorn Birds! Flowers in the Attic!).
When I was in 7th grade, my sister was assigned Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre in her sophomore English class. I lost myself in a world crafted by the Bronte sisters and reported the highlights my sister during commercial breaks for the Dukes of Hazzard.
Reading was an escape, an adventure, and something that I was really really good at.
I started keeping track of how many books I’ve ready about 5 years ago, averaging about 30 books a year. I like to read on my subway commute and eventually discovered audio books for long car rides or while cleaning the apartment (LOL JKJK I NEVER CLEAN.)
Come on, 2020. Also, yes, that IS a shirtless Tom Selleck in my profile pic.
I read several books while I was on vacation in January and then on the train back and forth to Cambridge for client meetings before the lockdown started. But since then, I’ve had really hard time reading. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not used to reading at home, or if my mind is so preoccupied with the state of the world that it just can’t process all those darn words.
According to this WEF article, increased anxiety levels make it harder to read, so we spend more time watching TV or scrolling through the internet, which can give us more anxiety and make it harder to read.
This all makes my head hurt.
I’m heading down the shore to hunker down for the rest of the summer and am really looking forward to sinking into some good books. I have a bunch already stored in my Audible account and on my kindle but I also wanted to get a few physical books for the beach. So I ventured out to one of my favorite local Brooklyn bookstores, Books Are Magic, and picked up these beauties.
It was such a treat to be able to browse through the store and observe the coolnerd staffers who work there. I wanted to be in on the inside jokes I heard them trading, including one that, upon explanation, was a real deep cut burn on one author’s unfortunate foray into picture books. (In your FACE, Ann Patchett!)
They were so kind, though, even as I tortured them by making them find books that were exactly where they were supposed to be. They assured me that it wasn’t by Magoo-level eyesight but that, “the books on the front display are, like, the hardest to see."
If you’re looking for independent bookstores to support, I’ve collected a bunch of them in the story highlights for You’ve Got Mail, HERE.