I miss reading. I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 last night. It was a really good film, and as I watched it I remembered back to 2001. I had just read the first Harry Potter book twice, once for my own pleasure, and once for my Children's Lit class at SUNY Oswego. I loved the book! I got 30 pages into the second book and never picked it up again (or any other Harry Potter book for that matter). I feel like I could have enjoyed this most recent Harry Potter movie even more if I had the background of the book in my head as I watched it. I used to always read the book before the movie, when I used to read a lot when I was 15. Now I'm 31, and television has replaced movies and music and books as my entertainment of choice. How did I get here? I think marriage was part of the turning point. Once you're married, you do things together, and you just don't have the alone time to devote to things anymore.
Movies take so long and you can never agree on what to watch. With laundry and dishes and work, two hour movies are few and far between now.
As for music, I used to sit alone in my room doing homework for hours and just listen to different albums over and over. I don't have the luxury of that time anymore. Listening to music is pretty much relegated to driving in my car on the way to work and back.
I used to be able to lose myself in a good fiction book for hours and finish one in a weekend. Then after college I was on a non-fiction kick, trying to learn anything I could about religion, sociology, history and politics. I wanted to expand my mind. But when you're trying to maintain every day life, it's hard to tell your husband, who you only see 3 hours every night, that you want to spend an hour reading.
Television provides 30 minutes snipits of stories that you can enjoy with your spouse or significant other in between the daily responsibilities we're all supposed to adhere to. It provides quick escapism and release of tension. Some may say it "rots the brain." I say, however, some shows are spectacles meant to just make you feel better about your own life, because the people on screen are just so... well... off their rocker. While other shows are meant to make you think, wonder, dream, believe, laugh, cry, feel.
Back to Harry Potter - the movie made me want to do all those things...by returning to the stories in the books on my shelves. I think about the people who spent hundreds of hours sitting alone in their homes trying to come up with ideas that would bring their readers to new worlds. I used to want to be that person. I don't know where it went, the desire to create and the desire to relate through the words I read and write. I love words and their power. At their worst, they've brought down whole nations and at their best, lifted people up to decide life is worth living. I'm ready to become reacquainted. It's never to late to go back to flipping through the pages of a book. They're ready and waiting for us to explore them. We just have to open the cover.
Sorry, I just sounded like a PSA!
"Reading is Fundamental" - That's for my husband! :)