10:22 AM

Slow Reading

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

I actually had time last night because my kids had fallen asleep easily and husband too. My stomach was hurting badly making it imperative that I relax in a way that doesn't make it hurt worse. I stared blankly around my house wondering what to do with my time. Can't do dishes requires too much work and standing. Can't even do computer because my pathetic little folding chair requires a hunchback squish stomach seating which will cause more harm. My eyes then fell upon my disheveled bookcase. The plastic pins holding up the shelves have bent under the enormous weight of my books and they fell being held up only by the books under. This is what I get for buying cheap bookcases. Since half the paperback books had fallen under the crushing pressure of my Islamic books (on top shelf naturally) I could pick a book out from the floor (which is where I'm leaving them until hubby fixes the bookshelf) or from the few remaining on the shelf. I spotted the top book on my "to be read still" pile and saw it was a book that my husband had read. I picked it up and read the back. It didn't grab me but I didn't want to hem haw all night when my precious time was normally limited. A baby waits until you're comfy to wake up. I shrugged and took the book to my couch and poured myself a glass of mixed berry juice to help ease my aching stomach. The book is James Rollins' "Sandstorm". The first sentence really grabbed me into the book that I thought might only mildly interest me. I read two character's Point Of Views until the next one was to begin on page 15.

Then I did the unbelievable. I put the book down and went to bed. Without being dragged there by my crying baby. My thoughts were in turmoil though despite the calm state of body. After only 15 pages my heart was crying out to write again. The natural flow of words I read so elegantly stated had reminded me of how much I loved the written word and how much I had missed reading. It has been months since I read a fiction book. Should I pick up my pen again? How cruelly I had cast it aside for other goals. Leaving my beloved characters hanging in their trivial problems until a further date when I could go and help them again.
This morning when I woke up I roamed the house. I felt better so I could do my chores but the pull of Sandstorm yanked my heart to the couch where I had fallen in love again last night. To return to the lover's tryst with my book would mean things might not get done in the house, thereby sparking my husband's disapproval. Yet I couldn't resist. I set up as I had done the night before even down to the glass of mixed berry juice. I started at page 15 and read until the Chapter 2 break. Then I did another incredible thing. I put the book down.

It was too good. Reading again. Feeling words that my own heart ached to write. I have to take this slowly. Like a smoker who quit and has to build his three pack a day habit back up slowly. I'm afraid of my writing addiction. Afraid it will consume my life. I will forsake cleaning just to write one more page. Forsake playing with my daughter to write just one more paragraph. Embrace baby's feeding times and stretch them out to be able to write just one more word. Life which has begun to finally organize itself will fall into disarray as I scramble to get things done and still have time for my addiction. So I'm hoping that by reading slowly it will take me longer to read the book and longer to start writing again, thus delaying the inevitable chaos.

4 intelligent thoughts:

Desert Princess said...

Brava!! You know what, since I've moved out here I've barely read more than a couple of chapters - says the girl who used to devour a couple of books a week in the not-so-distant past (and, a long time ago, a couple of books a night). Beautiful writing is always inspiring.. so why not try and just put half an hour aside a day so you can out your feet up and read? Once the kids have gone to bed etc..

Yasmine said...

I always love at night before bed...It helps me go to sleep easily without having to think so much trying to go to sleep....sometimes if I have not nullified my wudu ;) I will read the Quran....Its a nice habit....

Salam your descriptive writing...

MyHijab said...

I read books slow to make them last too! I have even gone back to re-read parts so that I don't move forward in the novel too quick!

I have also spent whole days just reading. But that was before my daughter was born when I had whole days to myself!

American Muslima Writer said...

Des.Princess: Ugh i too used to devour books since i was a kid but since going to Lebanon ad dealinmore with housework and then kids my reading has slipped. The worst part is when my vocab used to slid too (trying to learn arabic and talk simpily) and I couldn't even express myself talking much less writting.

Yasmine: I love reading at night too when all is peaceful. You can consitrate more on what you're reading. Qur'an is a good habit no matter the time of day but night is special.

My Hijab: OMG you are killing me to read back a few pages! I would go insane! hehehe. Masha'Allah you can savor it so easily. I will update now:

I TRIED to read it slow...I tried to only read two POV at a time or only one chapter at a time. After all when breastfeeding it only lasts so long before baby gets bored or falls asleep. And night time I only get abut one hour of reading between the kids waking constantly.
Finally my reading cut into my other times of cleaning and playing with kids. Chaos insued just as I knew it would...yet the words kept drawing me in.....I couldn't put it down....Book...must be devoured! I have paid the price of falling behind...yet I don't think i've quite learned my lesson..I still want more...I'm racing tot eh finish line angry that I wont slow down yet eager to see how it unfolds. I'm always angry when i finish books and a little sad to that I didn't draw it out more and didn't savor it more because now that it' done I wont re-read it for more than a year until I forgotten the plot. That is my reading rule for reading old i remeber the charactors names? Do I remember the ending? Do I rmeber the plot? Nope ok then I'll read it, if not i look for another. I will have to post more about this specific book because it's so dear to my heart....maybe after i finish it....*runs to book*

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