Since I now have a full time, big girl job, I am not free to travel whenever I want. I can’t just skip class on Friday and jet off for the weekend. Lately, I’ve had to resort to a different kind of travel – literary travelling. This may not sound that exciting but for an avid reader like me, it’s a real thrill. Right now I’m reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin which chronicles a year of her life trying to be happier. She does all kinds of research on what makes people happy and one of the things she mentions is starting/having a collection. I reflected on what kinds of things I like to collect. This was hard for me because I am constantly eliminating, selling, giving away and weeding out my ‘things’. I don’t like clutter or unnecessary saving so I’m always getting rid of things. But I realized that I do have a collection – of books. I LOVE new books. In fact, friends always try to loan me a good book to read and I always turn it down and go buy my own copy. I love having shelves filled with books I’ve read and ones I’ve yet to crack open. For me, it’s a sign of accomplishment of fill a whole shelf with books I’ve finished. One of the unique things about my book collection is that I usually can remember when or the context in which I read a book. This is why I equate reading to traveling or vacations. Not only is digging into a good book an imaginary vacation, but I also associate books with the places I’ve read them in. For example, I remember reading the first Harry Potter book while I was in vacation in Cape Cod. I read the Zoo Keeper’s Wife while I was learning about the holocaust when I studied abroad in Copenhagen. I read all the Twilight books two summers ago. I enjoy being able to remember a good book and associate with an experience or time in my life. I’m always going to remember reading The Happiness Project at a huge transition point in my life.
So when you can’t get away, pick up a good book – one about a foreign land and take a little mini vacation in your head!