All I want to do right now is read the last 24 pages of Spirit Bound, a book I don’t really care that much about but that has been my respite for the past week. Vampires and love triangles and the angsty-est of teenage angst.

books and castle from Flickr via Wylio

Castle at Hay-On-Wye. © 2006 Mark Chatterley, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Those 24 pages call to me like a siren.

The moving truck will be in just a couple of hours, and we are ready – except that I need to strip the bed and put another load of odd-shaped stuff (trash bags of jackets, our collection of recycled gift bags – into my car.  And I am almost ready to let this place go.  That will come – I hope – on Thursday when I leave for good.

But the stress of getting our funding for our new mortgage ten minutes before closing and the need to craft temporary animal homes at the new farm plus my first board meeting for the amazing organization Coming to the Table – well, all of this has me eating Frankenberry cereal dry out of the box – seriously, can we not up the marshmallow ratio here? – and wishing that I could just go follow Rose around on her rather reckless but completely unrealistic life.

Books have always been my respite.

In books, events march forward without my volition or responsibility.  The best ones wrap me into blankets of emotion and story that leave me rapt and breathless. But even the less well-written ones hold me true, giving me a place to walk when the weight of every day needs to be lifted for just a bit.  They are my escape.

But they are also more. Books help me come back to my every day life with more knowledge, deeper compassion, and a wider perspective on life.  Even Vampire Academy, with its vaguely written setting and obsessive protagonist lets me know that too much focus on our personal needs becomes selfish and dangerous.

So before I strip the bed and pack the car, I’m going to finish these 24 pages – as preparation for a long day.  I may not have to fight Strigoi, but sometimes, just getting through the day is battle enough.

What do books add to your life? Any particular type of book you turn to when you want to step out of your day to day for a while?