I have 323 pages of Little Women left to read. Considering the novel is 777 pages long, part of me thinks this is a great triumph. The other part of me is pulling her hair out wondering how she’s going to finish reading 323 pages in 2 days, if I count today.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved books. I have always been known as a reader. I was voted Biggest Bookworm in my sorority in college and everything.
But for the past 2 years, I have read a total of 9 books. To put this in perspective, in 2016 I read 47 books (I keep lists). I’m sure by some mathly figures, this says a lot.
I’ve been volunteering at my local library and every time I go, I feel like I’m playing a cruel joke on myself. As I put books back on their shelves, they seem to mock me with their pretty covers and clever titles. I want to open them up and read their contents, but something stops me.
As Ariel would say, “What’s that word again? Oh, yeah, depression.”
Back in 2010 and 2011 in college when my depression really became an issue, I experienced the same problem. I wanted to read and technically I had to if I wanted to keep my grades. But this didn’t prevent the books from mocking me.
I’d say it’s like putting a bone in front of a dog, but between the dog and the bone there is a glass wall. The dog can see the bone and maybe even smell the bone, but the dog cannot eat the bone.
Symptoms of depression include loss of interest, lack of concentration and lack of motivation.
I have read 2 books this year, but I have started probably around 5 or 6 (including Little Women). As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t finish them.
What would Belle do if she was having difficulty reading? What would she do if in this beautiful library Beast gave her, she was not able to read a single book?
Would she stare at a book until her eyes bled?
Would she let the mockery of the books in that library weigh her down?
Would she be patient and wait until books could become her friends again?
Would she look for the book? The book that would captivate her interest so much so, depression wouldn’t be able to interrupt the story.
I know I have done some form of these things. I have looked for the book many times. I’m putting a lot of pressure on Little Women to be that book for me.
2 days, I only have 2 days to finish Little Women.
I don’t think it’s going to happen. And you know what, that’s ok.
I think Belle would tell me not to worry. To her, books are something to be enjoyed, not something to cause more stress. They are not something I need to count or compare. They will be there when I need them. And as for Little Women, I WILL finish it. Just wait and see.