I finally broke down yesterday and practically forced myself to start reading Child Wonder by Roy Jacobsen. It was a weird feeling at first, almost as though I'd forgotten how to read, or how to enjoy reading. I stumbled over the first few pages, unsure what I was supposed to be understanding from the story, but I then began speeding through the pages, devouring whole chapters in just a few minutes. In the space of some 45 minutes aboard my morning bus, I managed to go through almost 100 pages. And that was only the beginning. Throughout the day, I picked the book up repeatedly, constantly trying to read more and more, growing frustrated at the situations around me that demanded my full attention.
But today, finishing the book while waiting in line at the pharmacy, I was surprised at how empty the whole reading experience had really been. Obviously I'd read the book - and had even quite enjoyed it, for a time - but as I read the last, intentionally revelation-filled-yet-nonetheless-vague pages, it didn't feel as though I'd actually read the book. It was as though I'd eaten so fast I hadn't been able to taste what exactly I was putting in my mouth... a strange experience, and not one I'm particularly eager to repeat. I suppose this should be a lesson to me - never, ever, ever stop reading.