It's been ages since I've joined in the Sunday Salon but what better time to get back into it, than to celebrate the fact that my earthquake-induced reading slump seems to definitely be over! After the earthquake hit on March 11th, it was hard to concentrate on much else. Wouldn't you know, but it seems that the triple disaster, of earthquake, tsunami, and damaged nuclear power plant, are a little bit distracting, to say the least!
For the first week or so, if I was awake, I was basically glued to the internet and the TV, watching updates and trying to get as much information as I could. I couldn't even think of picking up a book. Then even after things began to settle down here in Tokyo, there were still daily distractions: blackouts, empty shelves in the stores, occasional aftershocks. I would bring a book with me most of the time, but I just couldn't read. Actually that's not entirely true. I was reading constantly, but it consisted primarily of tweets and news stories.
After the first couple of weeks, I stopped watching the news quite as religiously. Especially the foreign (non-Japanese) media was just so sensational. I could feel my stress level rising whenever I heard some new exaggerated story. But I still couldn't seem to concentrate on reading. I did manage to read a couple of manga, but I think that was only because they were a) short, and b) filled with pictures. My brain just wouldn't let me absorb anything else.
Instead of reading, TV (non-news shows) became the escape. From Gilmore Girls and Merlin, to The Tudors, and Dexter. As well as movies. I spent a few enjoyable hours watching Jane Austen adaptations. I also played games on my iPhone. Words with Friends at least is a word game. (BTW, if you play, I'd love to have a game with you! I'm inspringthedawn there as well, just like on Twitter.) But I even succumbed and started playing Angry Birds! I've never been good at video games but it's quite addictive. Plus I still spent a lot of time on Twitter. I've said it before but Twitter was a real lifeline, especially during the first few hours and days after the quake, and has been a great source of up-to-date information. But it was also nice just to have a place online to chat with friends. Facebook too, to an extent, although I'm still not a fan. And the days passed. For a good 5 weeks, I barely opened a book. It was my longest stretch without reading for pleasure since, I'm not sure...university perhaps. But for those 5 weeks, I feel like I experienced what it was like to be a non-reader!
Thankfully though, about a week ago I finally began reading again. I've finished two books and am halfway through a third, but I'll tell you more about them tomorrow. And now hopefully blogging will resume as well. Things are getting back to normal in all aspects of our lives. Of course the recovery efforts in the north, the situation at the nuclear plant, the aftershocks and everything else are never far from my thoughts, but it's a little easier now to shut it out for a little while in the pages of a book. Now I just have to try and catch up on all the books I'd planned to read in March and April! I'm trying not to dwell on how many reviews and how far behind I am!
What do you do when you're not reading?
Oh and Happy Easter! Easter isn't celebrated in Japan so someone please have a Cadbury's Creme Egg for me, would you?
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