reading

Book Starved

People Who Read Books for Pleasure, have you ever felt book starved? Aching to read for pleasure but circumstances won’t allow it?

I have been book starved since the beginning of the year. Admittedly, it was a self-imposed book starvation but no less painful than if caused by external forces.

For fourteen weeks, I’ve been taking a 2-part paralegal certificate course from CLS by Barbri. When I started the course in January, the organization was called the Center for Legal Studies, but it underwent a name change and rebranding about midway through.

Because I knew the course would be intense based on the textbooks, I decided before I started that I would not read any other books while taking the course. I did not want to be sidetracked from the course reading or the assignments.

Here’s a photo of my textbooks:

Textbooks from Paralegal Certificate Course offered by CLS by Barbri: Federal Civil Rules Booklet by LegalPub.com (2020); Daniel Oran, Oran's Dictionary of the Law (4th ed. 2008); William P. Statsky, Introduction to Paralegalism: Perspectives, Problems, and Skills (8th ed. 2016); Margaret J. Kirk, ACP, Paralegal Certificate Course Workbook, The Center for Legal Studies (2010); The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Columbia L. Rev. Ass’n et al. eds., 21st ed. 2020); and Scott A. Hatch, JD, & Lisa Zimmer Hatch, MA, Paralegal Career for Dummies (2d ed. 2019).
Textbooks from Paralegal Certificate Course offered by CLS by Barbri: Federal Civil Rules Booklet by LegalPub.com (2020); Daniel Oran, Oran’s Dictionary of the Law (4th ed. 2008); William P. Statsky, Introduction to Paralegalism: Perspectives, Problems, and Skills (8th ed. 2016); Margaret J. Kirk, ACP, Paralegal Certificate Course Workbook, The Center for Legal Studies (2010); The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Columbia L. Rev. Ass’n et al. eds., 21st ed. 2020); and Scott A. Hatch, JD, & Lisa Zimmer Hatch, MA, Paralegal Career for Dummies (2d ed. 2019).

Note the thorough citations in the photo caption. That’s part of what was drilled into us during the course. Legal cases can be lost based on improper citation, including the wrong punctuation and spacing.

Because learning the structure of the legal system and its processes took so much concentration, I’m glad I avoided reading other books; however, there were a couple of points at which I was so book starved that the longing for books invaded my psyche. To fill that longing, when Hubby and I would occasionally visit thrift stores, I’d purchase books, 4 or 5 at a time.

Because if you can’t read books, at least you can buy them?!? Was that what my subconscious was telling me?

Those books, along with the ones my kids got me for Christmas, were calling to me from the bookshelves. “Read me! Read me!”

Books I received for Christmas 2020 and those I've purchased while taking my paralegal certificate course, all waiting to be read. April 12, 2021.
Books I received for Christmas 2020 and those I’ve purchased during the pandemic and while taking my paralegal certificate course, all waiting to be read. April 12, 2021.

There are 30-some books in my waiting-to-be-read pile, and I purchased 5 more this past Friday, after I got my second COVID shot.

My home book collection has gotten bigger during the pandemic because the library was closed for a good chunk of time, so to feed my need for new reading material, I bought more books than I normally would.

I did get a short break of about two weeks between my 2-part course. During that time, I staved off my book starvation a bit by quickly reading a book for pleasure. Did I pick one of the unread books calling to me from my bookshelves? Of course not! Don’t be silly! I ordered one from the library.

I read “Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in an Age of Relentless Self-Promotion” by David Zweig. Sorry, I read and returned it so quickly that I didn’t get a photo.

That book kept me going, barely, until last Monday, when I turned in my final assignments, including an appellate brief (talk about intense reading!), for my paralegal course. I picked a light book of fiction because I was insatiable for a quick story, choosing Sophie Kinsella’s “The Undomestic Goddess.” This book came from my unread collection. I started reading it Tuesday and finished last night.

"The Undomestic Goddess" by Sophie Kinsella.
“The Undomestic Goddess” by Sophie Kinsella.

Funny thing about this book. I thought I was using it as a good break from legal studies but discovered the main character is an overworked London attorney who runs away from a legal mistake she made to become a housekeeper in a rural town. I realized that as I read her description of billable time being divided into 6-minute segments that I got one of my test answers slightly wrong. Egads! So much for getting a break from the course.

However, it was just the trick to end my book starvation.

Over lunch today, I read a quick little book called “Practical Guide to Handwriting Analysis” by Kirsten Hall.

"Practical Guide to Handwriting Analysis" by Kirsten Hall.
“Practical Guide to Handwriting Analysis” by Kirsten Hall.

Ahhhh, it feels good to read for pleasure again!

Thoughtful comments welcome.