I never thought I still had it in me. I mean my reading comprehension and passion when it comes to novels. I used to read and read a lot of novels when I was younger especially during my college days and early years after college. I could finish a novel, no matter how thick, in less than twelve hours or sometimes over one sleepless night. I could get so absorbed that instead of sleep overtaking me, I would be more and more awake and alert to the story, the characters and the emotions of the book I was reading. And it would be so hard to stop.
However, as I got to working with a very hectic schedule and with a growing perfectionist and workaholic side to me, I forgot about my reading passion. I simply had no more time, until it was out of my routine… out of my system.
Years later when I was no longer working, I wanted to get back to it. Reading novels, enjoying the fantasy, loving the escape it brings from reality. Time wasn’t a problem anymore.
However, for some reason, I was finding it difficult. My mind cannot seem to absorb what I was reading. There were moments I would be reading one page again and again, and still I couldn’t digest the words and imagine the story being laid out in front of me. It gets actually frustrating.
So I decided to start from square one… with short stories, thinking I needed to get back into this slowly. For quite some time now, I would read some books on and off. The last one was Neil Gaiman’s “Smoke and Mirrors”, a collection of short stories. It took me so long to finish the whole book. Technically, I haven’t finished it since I didn’t read some of the stories. I just chose some which interested me.
It seems though that I still couldn’t really feel and get into it… into whatever it was I was reading unlike before. It felt like I was still just an observer from a distance, or like I was just reading a piece of story in a newspaper, emotionally detached.
Until this week.
I was down with the flu last Monday, and was asleep almost the whole day which left me wide awake in the evening. I decided that was a good time to start reading a book my sister lent me few months back and had been bugging me for a year or two now to read (long before this hype came out) — Twilight.
As I started and went on to read, I didn’t realize how absorbed I was getting, how fast I was reading and how attached I was becoming.
I just became aware of it when I realized it was already three in the morning, and I was more than halfway through the book without any trouble comprehending and imagining what I was reading, and most of all, I was having great difficulty stopping to get some sleep. But I know I had to. I needed rest. I was still sick.
When I woke up the next day, it felt strange how everything I read the night before was still so fresh and how it felt like it was a story that happened for real. I could almost feel it, smell it, taste it. It felt like I knew the characters first hand.
Weird. Really weird. The last time I had this same experience was 10 years ago or so… with Anne Rice’s “Interview with the Vampire” and Christopher Pike’s “The Whisperer” and “The Cold One”.
Of course, I finished Twilight that day. And I couldn’t help myself but crave for more. So I borrowed the rest of the sequel (books 2 to 4) from my sister, and finishing each (except book 4 which I’m still reading now) overnight (well, almost overnight).
And each time I wake up, the story and the characters just feels so close. Really close.
I don’t know if it’s just me. Sort of just a re-awakening of my senses. Rediscovering something I thought was lost. Am I really a sucker for dark stories especially for vampires? Or for the romance? Or simply for both? 🙂
In any case, it feels great. And I’m glad I did decide to read Twilight. If only I listened to my sisters much much earlier.