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Rachael Berkey Headshot

Security With the Written Word

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There are few ways to make me feel more exposed than to set me somewhere to wait with nothing to do. I blame my mother for this idiosyncrasy. The problem is that, "Read a book," was the answer to every problem in my childhood.

Bored? "Read a book."

Can't sleep? "Read a book."

Cable's out? "Read a book."

If I hadn't fallen so in love with the written word as a young child.

Really I had no chance. Those books? They seduced me. They should probably be locked up.

But then who would bring such explosive pleasure to so many minors if not our best writers?

But I digress. Anyways. Books were the easy way out, to the point where i think they maybe became my substitute security blanket.

On a train? I need a book.

On a plane? I need a book.

In a bar? I get twitchy if I can't at least read on my phone.

As much as I protest e-books, and vilify certain vendors of them with every chance I get, they may be saving my back, shoulders and posture, thanks to the app on my phone.

I don't think I get as much pleasure from swiping as I do from turning pages, but I feel better about my life when I can spend my hour-long commute on public transportation inhaling a book instead of staring into space and listening to a podcast.

I love podcasts, but I listen to them during my workout and not when I'm sitting around for a reason.

Since moving to New York City, I've read four novels, start to finish, on the subway alone. I've only lived here since February, by the way. Much like air travel, there is a safety bubble on the subway for my subconscious. I don't feel like I have to be constantly connected to the internet, reading Twitter and checking my email and networking all the damn time. I can sit back and immerse myself in a story that is not earth-shaking for a solid hour, and not only do I not feel guilty, but I feel complete, book in my hands, words flowing through my brain, and with purpose even while I sit still.

Keep me supplied in books, and I'll always feel like I have purpose.