I hid under the cover with a flashlight and a good book and prayed that my dad didn’t notice the telltale glow. I’d create a nest for myself and devour my books.
I guess… That’s the best kind of reading magic, and it’s probably how many of us first discovered literature’s many (and varied) realms. That world engulfs us and really leaves us feeling as though we could live there.
I wish I could hide that way still. Where does that sense of danger and anticipation go? Yes, there’s a breathless hurry as we rush about our days, but that feeling of being safe, and completely drowning in a book, is lost. Ever on the periphery, there’s now the sense of responsibility and the demands of adulthood. First, there was other homework. Then, work. And, following, there’s an endless profusion of stuff and nonsense.
So, what does it mean to steal moments?
- Reading books becomes more tantalizing.
- It becomes: A few minutes before starting the car, minutes while standing in line, or other sparse minutes stole here and there.
- It’s not guiltless.
- It takes time.
In Call Me By Your Name, André Aciman writes: “People who read are hiders. They hide who they are.”
Or, it could just be that readers prefer to imagine other worlds. We dig deep and choose to imagine other possibilities.
What do you prefer to read? Do you hide? Do you steal moments of reading?