I didn’t realize how addicted to routine you can become, even if you don’t realize it’s a routine.
I told you all yesterday I finished The Dark Tower, the seventh book of the series, over the weekend. For a moment, I felt like I’d accomplished something great. It was a feat, reading all of the cycle. Thousands of pages, turned one at a time, no skipping, no skimming. I read straight through. As soon as I could find the next installment, I’d get it and devour it as quickly as I could.
I had a great time.
But today, I had to return some movies to the library. And, I dropped off the final book of The Dark Tower cycle, The Dark Tower. I went and checked out the movies again – we found Iron Man – grabbed a couple of those, and then went to look for something to read.
I already took King’s Just After Sunset, a short story collection of his. I have a feeling I’ll have read some of them already from other anthologies, but I love his stuff, so I figured this would be a good diversion after the steadfast diet I’d been on. So, I decided, with a building full of books, I could find something else to read. Had to be able to. Right?
I realized with no book eight to read, I was completely unenthused about anything else.
My wife finally steered me toward a set of books (not a series, but a recurring character in separate stories unrelated to each other), one of which I’d read before and genuinely enjoyed. But my heart’s not in it. I just don’t feel like reading them. I had no idea why they sounded so flat to me, until I realized I was weaning from the world Stephen King created in The Dark Tower.
Far from being sick of it, I looked forward to the next one. I picked up the first volume with great reluctance. I knew I didn’t want to read a series of books – I don’t like them. I don’t like having to keep up with books in a series to understand the story. I’ve never read a single Harry Potter book, not one, and have no intention of so doing. (For one, J. K. Rowling is no Stephen King. For another, I don’t dig the whole wands-and-pointy-hats kind of wizard thing.) And the subject matter didn’t appeal to me … at least, I thought it didn’t.
And yet, today, my eye drifted longingly toward King’s section in the library again, despite the fact there are only a couple of books there I haven’t read yet.
I’d formed a habit, and without my fix, I was lost. I didn’t know what to do.
I know we all have something like that for us – a TV show, a series of movies, maybe something on cable you love to watch, a series of books, a comic book, a video game, whatever – and I’m probably not that unusual. For me, it’s become The Dark Tower. What is it for you?
Sound off, if you’re of a mind to. Maybe I’ll find a new addiction by tasting yours.
Or maybe, y’know, I could go back to writing something again. Just a thought.
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