Last week, I went three days without reading a page. Things were pretty tight at work, so on one of the mornings, while I was waiting for the bus, I suddenly realised that I felt a bit brain-dead. Of course, I wasn't fainting or perspiring beyond normal in the early-summer morning; there was just this part of my brain which felt like an automobile without gas.
These moments come quite often, when reading becomes a luxury. While it doesn't really bore into you, but conversations with people who follow the habit of a-few-pages-before-sleeping have revealed that not reading is as good as a skipped medication. The impact is gradual, that is, as the next day starts/the existing one progresses, the lack of variety in our lives kicks in. I'm not sure, but adventurers may not be facing this issue (heck, they are the ones whose stories we read, after all), but for the mundane folk like us, a slice of a world that is not our own, is an addiction.
So how do we sort this ? Because, this scenario is not unheard of at pretty regular intervals. Kindle is a good option, you can really read practically anywhere without fumbling. An audio book is a minor variation though it does not have the same feel as a hardcopy but comes close. Reading relatively benign topics in the newspaper does soothe the nerves (though getting to the benign topic would mean wading through pages of murky stuff). Sometimes, simply discussing an old favorite with someone, also works. And the most foolproof way is perhaps reading just one paragraph of The Catcher In The Rye and life would suddenly become clearer, fuller and more honest.
There are also days, when you would have buried your nose in those unputdownable books and emerged from them dazed and dehydrated. In such times, I always remember my mom's words - there's as much laughter in the world as there are tears. Besides the feeling that I need to sit by the window and figure out how my life has changed, there is also a small part of me cherishing this rare time I've just had, gobbling up a book without interruptions. I know it will be a log time something like this would happen again. Sigh.
Like any form of obsession I guess, reading, once it becomes a part of your life, becomes a part of you.