On the Benefits of Binge Reading

9780385754309_custom-8006d202f8bdaddd4b2db22ad6cbfa6b75854575-s2-c85This weekend I did something I haven’t had the time to do in a while: I binge read. Scandalous, I know.

About a month ago I saw a screening of The Spectacular Now. I didn’t realize it was a book until after I had already seen it, which, I’m slightly ashamed to say, does happen sometimes. But on Friday a friend lent me the book, and I took it home, sat on the couch, and didn’t move for the next two days.

There’s something wonderful about binge reading. Sure, sometimes I like to make a book last. Sometimes I simply don’t have the time to read it all at once. But every now and then I will get so engrossed in a story that the only thing I want to do is be in it as thoroughly as possible. The Spectacular Now is one of those stories. It is about being a teenager and growing up and falling in love and struggling with who you are. It’s about life, and it’s real.

I stepped out of my own world this weekend and into the world that Tim Tharp created. The windows were open and a breeze kept making the curtains flutter. The Wooden Birds (an amazing band, check them out) played in the background on repeat. I forgot to eat at regular intervals, although this is a common occurrence when I’m reading something so delicious I forget I need physical sustenance too.

I’m not saying you need to read The Spectacular Now — well, no actually I am. You should read The Spectacular Now. But even if you don’t, you should take a weekend and just read. Put on some good background music, sit in a room (or outside) where the natural lighting takes care of everything, and just read. Immerse yourself in a world that isn’t your own. It’s the best kind of escape there is.