Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. I began reading chapter books in first grade and soon earned the token bookworm nickname. (I really thought it was cool though, that I could read that well ... especially since it was "suggested" I attend pre-k). In 4th grade, our teacher gave us an in class reading assignment and I finished so quickly, she didn't believe I actually read it. She gave me a pop quiz and I aced it. In your face Ms. Dawson!
I read all different genres; fiction and non-fiction, action and adventure, girly feel good, memoirs ... you name it. Of late, I have been reading a lot of memoirs dealing with substance abuse. Families with members going through it, personal experiences, rehabs ... everything.
I find it odd that I am attracted to this subject. It's not something I or anyone in my family has ever suffered through. Some of these books are physically and emotionally painful to read. 75% of the time I am crying while reading them. If you have ever even thumbed through the book "A Million Little Pieces" you know what I mean.
So why the attraction?
There is something very raw and real about this subject matter. It cuts through the BS of life and takes you to the hardships, emotions and situations everyone encounters. It connects me with feelings I never knew I had.
Incidentally, I am also reading a book called "Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs" right now. This book discusses how America has become so obsessed with pop culture that people have begun identifying themselves and their personalities with those they see emulated in the media. My first eye opening experience to this was when I realized that relationships aren't supposed to be like the ones you see on sitcoms. Watching Everybody Loves Raymond, I thought it was natural for couples to be constantly fighting and bickering ... how would I have known anything different? That is the type of relationship TV is constantly portraying.
So maybe this is the attraction I have to this odd genre of non-fiction. It's not because I am sickly sadistic and enjoy reading about other people's pain. Maybe it's because we are so surrounded with molded personalities and feelings that it forces me to wash them away and reconnect to real life.