Managing the Reading Obsession

May 9, 2018 Literature , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , OTHER

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JD DeHart



I am a self-confessed avid reader.  So, when a new book is set to be released from one of my “go-to” authors, I have a battle inside to fight.


The battle is especially prevalent as I work through my final stages of a PhD program, making key decisions about how I spent my time.  I could go book poor at any given time, reaching out into poetry and fiction books I want to read, along with nonfiction books about research that I probably need to read for my work.


What I am practicing (at least for now) is knowing I will be fine if I don’t read the next book right away.  Sooner or later, my illustrious public library will probably get a copy.  Could I possibly wait a few months to read the book, instead of right away?


Possibly so.


Movies used to treat me the same way.  When a new film would be released that fell within one of my categories of interest, it wasn’t enough to wait and see it as a rental – or even wait and see it on a second or third weekend.


There I was, opening night, lined up, a pocket full of obsession.  These days, I’m a little more patient.  Maybe it’s because part of dissertation work is about films and so I view them, at least in part, as some aspect of study now.  Or maybe I’m just changing as I get older, growing a little bit here and there.


Who knows?  Ultimately, I do know I will be okay if the new Anne Rice novel does not make it into my hands right away.  Besides, I have books about autoethnography, case study, and phenomenology to keep me company while I practice patience.


But, wait, the voice inside me says.  You really need a break from all of that.  Read something fun.  In fact, it even helps sleep come easily.  It seems to help the wires of thought and composition to untangle so that rest can be possible.


On that day of published release, the feet of the bibliophile go marching and my stack continues to grow.  Back to the drawing board, and back to my list of “go-to” authors for another round next time.






JD DeHart

JD DeHart is a writer and teacher. His chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available from RedDashboard.

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