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.