By Nina Sankovitch
I have always been a reader. As a child, I’d rather have gone to the local bookmobile than to a carnival. Books were the glue that held my family together, through high and low times. But when my oldest sister died of cancer at the age of forty-six, I reacted by running as fast as I could away from her death and my fears of death.
I was determined to live a life worth living, full of activities and commitments, trying to keep everyone around safe, and me, comforted. No matter how fast I ran and how much I did, however, I could not relieve my sorrow. Finally, after three years of craziness, I realized what I needed to do. I needed to return to books and to reading in order to find answers, and comfort and escape.
I began a project to read a book a day and write about every book I read. To some people reading a book a day may seem like a form of mania but for me it was pure pleasure. Through the connections I made with books and authors and even other readers, my life changed profoundly, and in unexpected ways. My book, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, tells the story of my year of magical reading and of my lifetime of reading.
In our lightning-paced culture that encourages us to seek more, bigger, and better things, my year of reading showed me how I could meaningfully deepen the quality of my everyday life — by taking the time to truly live it. For me, the five daily things all women should do for themselves are clear: read, talk, walk (while singing), write, and smile.
Next: Read and Talk