I once took a test to find out if I was a biblioaddict. I think I answered yes to every question. The library to me is like a toy store, except that all the toys are free.
One of the hardest things I ever did (well, not really. One of the really hardest things I ever did was speaking on stage at sales meetings to a sales-guy-filled ballroom, but that’s a topic for another time) was, as part of Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, to give up reading for a week.
I did the whole twelve-week program: writing four “morning pages” every morning, which was a drag but since you could just write the same thing over and over and it didn’t matter because no one read it, wasn’t that hard; making up a fun “artist’s date” for myself every week; completing all her exercises. But that reading deprivation thing…
I can’t really say I gained anything from that week, except to realize how books, almost literally, distance me from the anxious world.
“For most artists, words are like tiny tranquilizers,” Cameron says.
It’s true. So I’ve decided I’ll take the words, ditch the artist part, and have a tranquil life.