My apologies to readers of my personal blog. This is an adaptation of my most recent post there.
Do you ever feel guilty for reading? Well, don’t! Reading is an important way for us to relax and learn. And yes, I’m talking about reading novels.
After the horrific acts of terror this past week, I wanted to stop and think about what it is that we’re doing here. Acts of terrorism are terrible and must be stopped, but as with all horrible things that happen to us, they do make us pause and look at our lives and what we do.
We read stories. Stories that take us away from the awful things in life and give us a break from the real world.
Yes, the stories we read do contain terrible things happening to good people–if they didn’t they would be boring and unreadable, but reading about terrible things prepares us for when we have to live through such things in reality. It teaches us how to react, what to do and not do. As Lisa Cron explains in Wired For Story, it is stories that have kept mankind alive. It is stories that help us to understand life and all the messy aspects of it.
I live in Brussels. I just moved here with my husband for his work and am growing to love this city very much. Because of my work, I usually don’t leave my apartment until I force myself out in the afternoon to get some fresh air and exercise, but my husband travels and he could have easily been at the airport when those bombs exploded (in fact, one of the people who works for him was in a plane that took off from Brussels Airport just minutes before the explosions. His office was in a panic until his flight landed and he was able to check in to say that he was all right).
But yesterday, when my husband’s assistant called to make sure that I was okay (even though their office is just a few blocks from the metro station that was bombed), he told me that he wasn’t watching the news. He had turned off all communication with the outside world. It upset him too much. He couldn’t deal with it. I very nearly told him that he needed to pick up a novel and take a break–I didn’t because he was at work. 🙂
So all this is to say, that you should never feel bad for reading. Reading makes life bearable giving us an opportunity to escape.
In between reading about the horrific things that were happening in the city around me, I edited my new book Falling, rewriting and fixing scenes. I escaped into a time and place where the worst thing was that the hero was falling in love with a woman who was off-limits to him and she didn’t know who he really was.
This was my escape. This is what let me read about the real world and not break down in tears. – well, that and the wonderful outpouring of messages from my friends and family who contacted me to make sure I wasn’t anywhere near the bombings.
So don’t berate yourself, or let anyone else do so, for sitting down and reading a novel, any novel, any time.
Falling, by the way, is now available for pre-order and will be released on April 6th.
Boundless blue skies. Oblivion. The pull of the sky through the wall of windows in Erin Freyn’s new apartment is as enticing as it is disturbing. It seems to call her to step out, to let go, to surrender herself into its terrifying embrace. But when she turns to a hypnotist for help, she never dreams it will uncover long-hidden secrets – of ageless magic and forbidden romance.
In another place…
David Elder is trying to live up to the memory of his brother, who died while working with inner-city kids. He couldn’t save his brother, but perhaps with his magic he can save another. When he hypnotizes Erin to seek a cure for her fears, they discover instead an ancient connection. In a past life, he was a medieval knight and her illicit lover… before things went very wrong.
Fate has given them a second chance. Will they take it and finally find happiness, or will they be doomed to replay history yet again?
Available at Amazon