I’m back – and thank you

Posted May 27, 2018 by Lory in personal / 54 Comments

Interior with Girl Reading – Carl Vilhelm Holsøe (source)

I was not very comfortable with real-life social situations when I was growing up. I was shy, even withdrawn, and deeply sensitive. The aggressive, outward-oriented demands of school were often too much for me, so I retreated into the world of books. That was where I could engage with and learn from people, events, and experiences that explored the full range of what it means to be human. And I gained so much from my reading, so much wisdom and comfort and beauty.

But obviously, as wonderful as the world of books may be, it’s not real life. So as I grew up I tried to enter into that life more fully, to engage in real relationships and to attempt to unfold myself. This was not easy, and much confusion and hurt ensued along the way. As I didn’t have any personal guidance to help me, I didn’t know what to do with this suffering, and so I pushed it down and tried to move on.

Now, in midlife, some of that buried confusion and pain has risen to the surface demanding to be dealt with — leading me to take a break from blogging for the past several weeks while I sort things out. But the book blogging community has been much on my mind during this time, because here is one place that I’ve found the social circle I missed in childhood. And feeling held by such circles is what has given me the strength to take up the challenges facing me in my real-life relationships right now.

Though we may not share much about our personal lives, I feel that through our shared love of reading we are connected in a very vital and essential way. We understand things non-readers may have a hard time relating to. We know what it’s like to identify with and feel compassion for someone we’ve never met, who only exists as words on a page. And we know that releasing those words into life is one of the most exciting, most fulfilling acts of co-creation imaginable. We’ve felt the thrill of reading our way into the deeper levels of things, and we’re not content to merely stay on the surface.

And so it’s not just the warmth and acceptance of this particular community that has helped me, but the particular activity we’re engaged in. It helps me to know you’re there, when I want to delve into the meaning of life and am met with “Oh no, we can’t do that — it’s too scary, too unsettling, too unpredictable.” It helps me to remember how each of us, when confronted with a seemingly impenetrable screen of black lines on a page, has patiently persisted and unraveled its secrets. And how rewarding that journey has been.

It amazes me that when I posted that I was going to take a break from this blog, twenty-three of you responded with good wishes and encouragement. Twenty-three friends I didn’t have five years ago! And that’s on top of many other readers who very likely sent the good wishes even though they didn’t comment.

I know it didn’t cost you much effort to do that, and you might think I’m making a big deal about nothing. But it isn’t nothing to me. And I just want to say thank you.

I intend to get back to posting again in the next weeks, though I’m not sure quite where life will take me or what direction this blog will go in. Whatever happens, I’ll be sure to keep you informed.

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54 responses to “I’m back – and thank you

  1. <3! I hope you are doing well! I was so excited to see a new post from you pop up! But of course, take your time and take care of yourself. We'll all still be here! <3

  2. Deb

    I’m glad you’re back, and appreciate many of the thoughts you shared. I feel much the same way about reading and the blogging community. Hope you’re well and look forward to hearing more!

  3. Lizzie Ross

    It’s great to hear from you again, Lory, and we’re all willing to wait however long for your next update. Best wishes from a fellow-Carl!

  4. We all know what you mean and can absolutely empathise with what you’re going through. Enough studies show that reading (fiction, particularly) helps develop empathy, social awareness and human understanding, especially for those of us who struggle with shyness, making sense of how relationships work and why common humanity doesn’t always prevail. We’ve missed you but wouldn’t wish you to push yourself until you feel ready enough.

  5. What an eloquent post. I think a lot of us have been there, and we probably all value this book blogging stuff for very similar reasons! I hope things are going well for you and that we’ll see more of you soon, but meanwhile do what you need to do; we’ll be here when you’re ready. 🙂

  6. All of this sounds intriguing in terms of what may lie ahead for you. I think you are doing the right thing, Lori. I’m looking forward to reading about what you might want to share about this in the future and, if not, then seeing what direction your blog and its themes will take. It is amazing how book blogging has introduced me to people around the world. I enjoy quite a few bloggers in England, as well as India and France and Canada. It truly is important to be able to share our excitement about books with other like minded readers, who may be hard to find in our day to day life.

  7. I’m delighted you’re back and thank you for your courageous article – you didn’t have to explain exactly what has been going on, but the fact that you did so will probably help others who are also in similar circumstances… Looking forward to seeing more of you in due course!

  8. Thank you for sharing this with us Lory, we all have our challenges and sometimes the online world really helps us. I too love the feeling of community we get from one another. Welcome back, and all the best.

  9. My nine years of book blogging helped me get through some dark times, being part of the international book blog community makes me feel I am not alone, that my love of reading is not “weird”. I was touched by your post

  10. It is so nice to see a post from you. I hope the time you have taken has been what you needed. I can relate to being a shy person who retreats into a world of books. Sometimes the real world can be a bit overwhelming. Whenever you are up to writing posts again I will be more than happy to read them.

    • I had a feeling I was not the only shy person among this world of booklovers. 🙂 I’m so glad we can connect in this way.

  11. BJ

    Welcome back, Lory! Sometimes we need to take a break, there is nothing wrong with that, and I hope yours has been beneficial. I look forward to reading more of your posts, when your ready, but until then, continue to take the time for yourself that you need.

  12. Lory, I am so glad that you are back and hope that things are working out well for you, it’s clearly a tough time.

    No pressure, but I hope that you will come back to writing about books again, even if less frequently than before. You have a great skill for finding what’s interesting in a book and then explaining it clearly and thoughtfully – yours is one of my favourite blogs to read.

  13. Ren

    I’m happy to read this from you, and so beautifully said! I understand, and I think many others do too, the kind of feelings you’re describing. You’re definitely not alone! Wishing you a lot of strength in what you’re dealing with.

  14. I’m glad you’re back, Lory, and thank you for sharing this with us. Your first paragraph could have been describing my own childhood and my own early love of reading. I’ll look forward to your future posts, whichever direction you choose to take your blog in.

  15. Welcome back! There is very little in life quite as satisfying as connecting with another reader!

    I am glad you are blogging again and look forward to reading what ever it is you choose to blog about. 🙂

  16. I have been very absent from this community for about three months now, which is probably why I didn’t know you were taking a break to work on Life. But it is why I completely understand what you mean! I realized at one point this spring that if I were to keep blogging, I’d have to stop reading, and I NEEDED the books. Now I’m slowly starting to be able to do both again, and I’m so glad. I hope your life is steadying in good ways. Yours is one of the first blogs I’m “coming back” to visit and reconnect with, because I so enjoy your perspective and eclectic taste.

    • Hahaha, blogging or reading, it’s sometimes not easy to balance them…but reading has to take priority of course. Glad you’re coming back to the blogosphere too.

  17. Hey lady, it’s so lovely to see you around here! And I’m glad you missed us enough to come back — whatever’s right for you is what you should do OF COURSE but I’m glad it seems like being a book blogger is good for you. Cause I love talking with you about books and Diana Wynne Jones especially!

    • Yay, me too! There was never a question of me not wanting to blog … I just lacked the mental and emotional energy. Fortunately, those have rebounded so I can come back. For which no one can be gladder than me.

  18. I am so sorry to hear about the struggles that you have faced. I am glad to see that you are back to blogging. There really is something special about the book blogging community. I also agree that there is something unique about bookish people and the way that we interact. Take care Lory.

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