Reading books or hiding?

I have decided that I’m going to collect all of Marian Keyes’ books, re-read them and keep them. They are not only some of the best books I’ve read – funny, heartfelt and honest, as every reviewer has said – but every time I read them, I learn something more about myself. I see aspects of myself clearly in the characters of her books. And perhaps now it’s time to engineer some of their happy endings for myself. Yet, after reading these novels, nowadays I am struck with a new question: “Am I reading books or hiding?”

In many ways, I still feel I need to get a life. To stop being a social voyeur. Learning from other people’s mistakes – even through fictional characters – is all very well, but there is no substitute for true life.So despite the fact that – or perhaps because – Marian’s books are such compulsive reading, I’m not going to be reading as much as I have done.

Also, I can’t help noticing that I have used reading – huge irony, it is one addiction that we can carry around in plain sight that no-one will object to – to hide from what else I could and should be doing: going out to meet people, having fun, keeping in touch with my far-flung family and friends. That I can use reading as a professional excuse, just makes it easier to hide behind the covers, when what I really must do now, is stop hiding and get outside, into the world.

There is nothing stopping me. Nothing at all. Hubby is at work, and daughter is at school. She has her own social diary, so does Eddie. It’s me that sits at home, feeling fed up – or worse – and wondering why. It could be reading, it could be a hundred other reasons, but one thing I know. It’s time to get outside into the world, and meet people again.

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