I've taken an indefinite fast from reading. This is an act of penance and redemptive co-suffering I decided to take up not only as a demonstration of my loyalty to someone I care for, but also for the benefit of that person in a very trying situation. It's coming towards the end of my seventh day without reading and I realize how agitated (dare I say nutty?) it's making me at times. Every time I turn around, I see a book. And whereas normally I would pick it up without a second thought, now I wince a little every time I pass over those books, staring at me in their as-yet-unread splendor. It's true: I'm getting the bookworm shakes.
I decided not to fast from food, because my ulcer problem makes a bad thing of going too long without food. Reading is the only thing I do as naturally and as pleasurably as eating, so, in an inspiration at Mass last week, I realized it was "off with its head" until the Lord deigns to bless the one I suffer with. It certainly is eye-opening to feel hour by hour how naturally, indeed compulsively, my mind turns to books. The good thing is that since I've allowed myself only to read the Bible, use reference materials, or study Chinese, I'm getting a lot of time in both the mundus biblica and the mundus sinica.** God be with us.
**(I make no secret of my poor Latin, so correction is welcome!)