A walk to the library

From where I work, it’s only a quick two block walk to the library.

So today, with my head swimming in tests, my mind frozen from the air conditioning, I got up and walked there.

No premeditation. No purpose. With just a hunch, I stepped into the heat, turned right, and kept walking.

For the past year or so, I’ve completely fallen away from reading books; the stack beside my bed grew, stagnated, and is in danger of being killed off. I barely read at all, actually – outside of the Sunday New York Times, a handful of work-related books, a blog article or two, there’s nothing. My mind has been consumed with learning new skills and adapting to a second child and spending time with my family.

Reading has taken a back seat.

So, this walk? It quickly became a big deal.

Our library is cool and new and stocked with great books and at once I was reminded of why I was always attracted to it. You see, this is where I was supposed to be. On these shelves. Writing books and stories, looking to make it big; my words sheltering others from boredom, my thoughts absorbed by strangers. I started this blog to practice becoming a better writer. I volunteered for magazines – writing about reading, no less! – and weaseled my way into a writing job at an ad agency. I read fiction and non-fiction and short stories and massive tomes like it was a religion – both because I enjoyed it and because, as they say, better readers make better writers.

And then, I kind of stopped.

I still write. But I no longer read.

Instead, I found two things I enjoyed a lot more, and I’ve jumped into them with full abandon: being a dad, and working in Web.

But they don’t have to be exclusive.

The potential made me dizzy. Or maybe it was the heat. Whatever. All I know is that I walked into the library, wandered around for a few minutes, grabbed Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays and Steinbeck’s The Red Pony and made a promise to myself.

To stop making excuses. And to head back to my roots. Because while my path veered from becoming a writer, there’s no reason it ever should have stopped me from becoming a reader.

This was lovingly handwritten on July 16th, 2010