Friday, January 15, 2010

Why I Gave Up Reading...

I hope that title didn't shock you too much especially coming from a writer!

The other night my daughter saw an ad for a fiction writing contest and said, "Hey Mom and David, why don't you enter this contest?" My son's reaction surprised even me. He said, "Mom...enter a writing contest?! I'll bet she hasn't read a book in about 18 years!"

Actually, he didn't realize it, but he wasn't too far from the truth. It's been probably about 28 years since I made the decision that my family and my work were more important than reading fiction. You see, I used to be addicted. I would get angry and lash out at anyone in my path if they interrupted me at a crucial point in whatever book I happened to be reading. As a youth, many a night would give way to the dawn with my book still in hand. I would get an hour or two of sleep and then rush off to school - only because the book (fiction) I was reading was too interesting to put down. I was a hopeless addict.

I don't remember all that led up to the decision to put my addiction aside, but I'm sure God had something to do with it. It's not that I haven't read any fiction since that day many years ago, but my escapes into fiction now are limited to vacations or trips involving long airport layovers. Fiction definitely keeps me awake much better than non-fiction.

And once I made that decision, it was easy to keep "on the wagon." I still had non-fiction I could and did read avidly. But non-fiction didn't keep me from being the mother, wife and productive person I really wanted to be. It also helped me eventually come to terms with my explosive anger and pretty much give that over to the Lord, the only One able to handle it.

Later the other evening, as my son was cleaning up the dishes and loading the dishwasher I explained all of this to him. I could tell he was trying to process it - since he is also an addict! And I hope it also made him realize just how great my love is for him and the rest of the members of my family.

BTW - the most recent fiction book I have read was The Shack - read mostly of course, on a recent vacation trip! So it really hasn't been 28 or even 18 years since I've read a book.


  1. Hi Sharon,

    Thank you for stopping by my blog site tonight and for your prayers for my family. Prayer is such an important part of my life and that meant a lot to me that you are with us in mind, heart and spirit.

    Please know that I will also pray for your sister as well. What a mighty God we have and He is mighty to save. I love Him so much.

    I am so sorry for your loss of your son. I read through some of your postings. God's grace is amazing despite what tragedies we go through in life and He sees us through every one of them. My son was hit by a car when he had just turned 12 yrs. old. That in itself was hard to cope with. My heart weeps for your loss.

    I have become a follower of yours as well tonight and look forward in getting to know you better. I believe God aligns the right people at the right times in our lives and I never expected my blogging experience to be what it is today.

    Again, I look forward in getting to know you more.

    Peace, Blessings & Prayers,

  2. Saw your comment over at Alleluiabelle's and wanted you to know I am praying for your sister. Praying God would raise her up in newness of life even now!

    And about your reading. I made the choice years ago to stop reading anything until I was reading God's Word daily. Like you my fiction is read on sandy beaches and airport layovers =)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts.