News flash: not all librarians have time to read!

Yes, it’s true. We librarians don’t always have time to read. We’re supposed to be book addicts and read-a-holics. But sometimes we simply don’t read, for one reason or another. We’re supposed to know a goodly number of books in order to recommend them. We’re supposed to have basic recommendation knowledge. But sometimes we have nothing to share.

I’ve accidentally been on a book-detox program for several months, thanks to circumstances. Circumstances meaning “grad school.” It’s pitiful. Here I am, studying to be a librarian, trying to fulfill my librarian vocation, and yet it’s been difficult finding time to read. I know it doesn’t take me more than a couple of hours to read a book…but one book leads to another, then another, then another…and that could lead to me getting bad grades. So, I had to put reading books (for fun) on hold. I chose books that were scholarly in nature, so that if I got pressured by homework or life, I could easily put the book in limbo for a while without worrying about who dies or what happens next.

It takes a while to get around to reading the fun books again after the semester ends, and usually another semester begins before I have time to settle down and go to the library.

The semester ended a couple weeks ago, for me. Right around that time, I got an automated email from the Chicago Public Libraries, letting me know that my card expired. I finally went in to renew it a few days ago after work, in the Popular Library downtown.

I promised myself I wouldn’t bring home too many books, since I didn’t have enough room in my backpack.

Guess what? There’s ALWAYS room for books in your backpack. Always. I found 5 books in the Popular Library. Once I cracked open one of the books, I just breezed right through three of them, returning them today. I’m still working my way through the other two. One is “The F***ing Epic Twitter Quest of @MayorEmanuel.” I swear, but honestly, there’s only so much swearing one can handle at any given time, so it’s a slow (but fun!) read.

When I returned the first three books, I looked through both the Popular Library and the regular stacks, and came home with I don’t know how many books. Just enough that filled up my rather large PAWS Chicago tote bag. Right now I’m reading books about people leaving fundamentalism or cults, and people moving past their abuse background. I don’t know why I read a lot of cult-escape books. It’s just fascinating.

Well, I guess I do know why I like reading these books. There’s an element of familiarity with them.

I didn’t grow up in a cult. Just a homeschooling family with a controlling, verbally/emotionally abusive father and a mother who enabled him. However, some of the behavior my dad exhibited are similar to the behavior exhibited by these cult leaders, just on a lesser scale. I read these books because I can empathize with the feelings of fear, helplessness, and being micromanaged and controlled.

I also like to read religious-type books. Sometimes I’m on a religious kick where I read theology and inspirational books (but they must be grounded in truths–none of this namby-pamby “Just think POSITIVE and your life will be positive! Yay!!!” Ugh. No. I prefer when people are real. Yes, we struggle. But yes, we hold onto faith, anyway, somehow.)

Sometimes I read professional and concrete books about PTSD and other stuff that survivors have to deal with. I’m not talking self-help. I’m not a fan of self-help. They all say the same thing,they just have different covers to convince people it’s a brand new way of looking at things. I’m talking about, “Clinical studies have shown that yoga helps reduce anxiety and stress…” sort of thing. I guess the phrase I’m looking for is “evidence-based.” Evidence-based supplemental books to counseling and medication.

I like memoirs best of all (escape from cult/fundamentalism/abuse, esp.)  I read them, because I really would love to write my own memoir(s). I keep thinking about it, but the idea of writing a whole book seems daunting–hence why I’m blogging. I figure after I blog a while, I’ll have enough ideas to gather, expand on, and refine for a book. The editing I can do. The writing…eeeh, it can be overwhelming.

Anyway. What was I talking about? Oh yeah. I may not always have time to read, but when I do, I read a LOT. I’m a serial reader.

So, back to my reading…

Filed under: Abuse

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