This post was originally published in 2013. I’ve republished it here as part of Weekend Memories, a feature in which I dig through my archives for interesting old posts.

 

Recently I feel like I’ve only been able to read on my lunch break.

Have you ever seen someone scarf down his or her lunch as fast as possible and then tear open a novel with a motion and look of absolute eagerness?

That’s me. Nearly every day.

Except the days where I attempt to eat and read at the same time. Those lunch breaks usually end with me returning to my office with either a stained book, or more often, a stained top or skirt. I’m a talented spiller. I’m very good at missing my mouth.

But I’m sure, if you read novels at all, you know what I’m talking about.

Reading a story is exciting, consuming stuff. It takes you to another place, another world, another life. It lets you forget the stresses of a full email inbox or lengthy to-do list for 30, 45, or 60 minutes. It teaches you new words, new turns of phrase, new ideas. Your thoughts and your heart are stirred by a good story.

This is why I love to read.

This is why, when friends or coworkers ask me to join them for a lunch-date I hesitate. Yes, I do want to build friendships and relationships with these people. Yes, I do enjoy spending time with them and conversing about a wide range of topics. And yet… my lunch break is, quite often, the only opportunity I have to spend time with Fanny Price, or Kvothe, or Katniss.

Sometimes the choice is a very difficult one.

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