The world of books is never boring. Every week (well, most weeks) I’ll discuss a different topic related to books, often inspired by or in response to what’s going on in the online book community (or something I’ve seen another blogger talk about). I call this Book Thoughts on Thursday. Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, or even write your own post on the topic and share the link with me!
There are a lot of things you don’t anticipate about being a grown up when you’re a kid. You don’t realize that if you eat nothing but ice cream and cereal for a few days you’ll actually start craving broccoli. You don’t realize that just because you could drink all your friends under the table at 23 doesn’t mean you’ll still be able to (or should even try) a decade later. You don’t realize that it might take a really long time to figure out what you want to do – if you ever do. You also don’t realize just how fast time will go, and just how fast things will start to go wrong with your hitherto reliable body.
I bet you’re wondering what this has to do with reading, right? Bear with me, I’m getting there.
About a year and a half ago, I participated in my first 24-hour readathon. I was so excited. I had everything planned, including the perfect comfy chair complete with blanket and purring kitten. Now, this was a chair I’d literally spent an entire day in while marathoning Harry Potter movies or every single episode of Orange Is the New Black. So I figured I could read in it for a day no problem, right?
Wrong. After a couple of hours (even with breaks to get up and stretch), I started to feel a little stiff. A few more and I had pains in muscles I didn’t even know I had. By the end of the day I felt like I’d actually run in a marathon, not read in one.
This experience made me realize something important: I’m getting old. And it’s only going to get worse.
Since then I’ve had similar issues. I fell and tweaked a muscle in my neck which made any position you’d normally read in pretty much impossible. Holding a book even more so. Since then I’ve had several more minor issues that have impeded my reading comfort, and it sucks. Gone are the days I could bend myself like a pretzel into any available seat and completely lose myself in whatever I was reading, to the point of not even being aware I still had a body, let alone experiencing pain in it.
I’ve had to get pretty creative with reading positions. I read more in bed, staying there for an extra hour in the morning rather than getting up and trying to read in a chair. I have e-books loaded onto my phone so that I can switch to one of them when holding a physical book is too challenging. I have several extra pillows I can employ to prop up whichever part of my body is currently in agony. And, of course, I experiment. Sometimes a position you wouldn’t normally even consider ends up being perfect:
Though most of the time I make do, I have to admit to feeling just a little bit sorry for myself from time to time (along with being viciously jealous of my younger self). I’m dealing with it as best I can, but man does it suck sometimes.
Do any of you have this problem yet? Any tips for surprisingly workable reading locations I might not have tried yet? Seriously. I’ll try anything.