I love to read.
All my life, it’s been my No. 1 hobby, among the first things I list when asked about my passions.
There have been, on many occasions, entire weekends where I do little else — eschewing any and all intrusions (all that pesky talking, eating and bathing) to devour multiple books in one sitting.
Which is why it’s such a enormous bummer that I don’t seem to be able to do it anymore.
First, there’s my complete and utter lack of time — it’s been over a month since I had two consecutive days off.
But even more annoyingly, my attention span just seems to be shot.
I can barely make it through a 22-minute episode of “Flea Market Flip” on Hulu without getting distracted. No sooner are they off to turn a broken barrel into a bar or make a chicken coop coffee table (oh, how I wish they’d stop doing both) than I’m staring off into space, or scrolling through the mindless abyss that is the internet.
Clearly, I can forget focusing long enough to make a dent in the ever-growing pile of unopened novels by my bed. I’ve been on Chapter 1 of Margaret Atwood’s “Blind Assassin” for going on three months.
I’m telling you, it’s unnatural.
So I’m calling myself out, ladies and gentlemen. Declaring my non-reading loserdom to the world. Shaming myself before the civilized masses, in an effort to return to my bibliophile roots.
Like a literary Stella, I want to get my book groove back.
Luckily, I have my annual Long Family Trip to Watoga coming up — a weekend where we rent some cabins and enjoy the great outdoors for a few days.
Well, they enjoy the outdoors. I read. Inside, and away from the bugs.
Or at least, I used to.
But the raw material to get going again is there. Three whole days off work. No wireless service. No Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO or Netflix.
No Lara Spencer in short shorts weighing in on someone’s farm sinks-cum-side tables.
Put simply: Nary a distraction in sight.
Just me, the wooden walls and some words.
The trouble now is which books to bring.
I mean, this is a big deal. I need the right reads.
So far, I’ve got “Ohio” by Stephen Markley lined up, along with Tana French’s latest, “The Witch Elm.”
(That’s when you know it’s bad — when it takes me seven months to read a new one by French.)
I’ll also be taking Kate Atkinson’s “Transcription,” for sure. (She’s one of my faves).
That sets me up with one per day.
In the past, only packing three books for a whole weekend would have sent me into a panic.
But these days, when I resemble no one so much as Dug from “Up” — “Squirrel!” — I think it’s a pretty good place to start.
I love to read.