Sabbatical

Piedmont Park AtlantaSo… usually folks announce they’re going on a sabbatical long before they actually go on it. I’m telling you now. After the fact. I needed some time to pursue other interests, y’all. Figure out how to incorporate some balance into my life. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if For the Love of Bookshops had a place there anymore. Some people may be able to do this kind of soul-searching while juggling all their commitments, but I am not one. Mainly, though, it was the realization that this blog takes a lot of energy out of me, and when I don’t have that kind of energy to give in the first place, it can be more deleterious than beneficial. Also, it shows in the content and that sucks for you guys. I consider the pursuit of a book-filled life to be a worthy goal, and I don’t ever want this blog to appear routine and soulless.

I could never leave you for good, though. I’ve missed this place and all your thoughtful comments too much. I’m sorry for leaving without saying goodbye. The good news is I’ve decided FtLoB does have a place in my life and, I hope, yours, too. What that will place look like, I can’t say, but I’m hoping it will incorporate a lot more of my interests which, I hope, will interest you too. I don’t have to tell you that a book-filled life constitutes a love of more than just the physical binding and paper that we know as the “book.” Obviously, right? Think of all the varied subjects covered in those books you love so much. Fiction, nonfiction, sure, but what about the cookbooks, the DIY books, the gardening books, the travel guides? These all reflect a keen interest in things happening, doing, buzzing outside the walls of a bookshop. Isn’t that one of the most exciting things about bookshops? After a blissful hour browsing in one, we leave feeling inspired to do and be something more. Create, investigate, explore… as well as read.

I used to think I was too flighty, that I had too many interests and I should just focus on becoming an expert in one or two. But the great revelation of my sabbatical was that we are all curious beings and we thrive on learning and exploring the new. I don’t know why I felt guilty about having too many interests. Seriously, y’all, I had this zen revelation: We are all our own bookstore. Like a well-designed bookstore, we are composed of shelves and shelves of varied thoughts, passions and interests, organized (or not) in dozens of genres. The great joy of being human is that we get to wake up each day, come into our bookstore and say, “Who will I be today? Where will I browse today? What part of me will I explore? What story will I unfold?”

Is that exciting or what? And, for this frustrated Jill-of-all-trade, what a relief!

Really, thank you for sticking with me. This week I’d love to share with you some of the things I’ve been up to (if that would interest you at all!). And yes, some of the books I’ve read…

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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6 comments
  1. mrszeg said:

    Welcome back Erin! It is a wonderful feeling when we find our zen.

    • Erin said:

      Thank you! It’s good to be back!

  2. I checked the whole month if you posted new things. Very relieved that you decided to continue blogging;-)

  3. Iris said:

    Welcome back, and I look forward to reading your posts.

    • Erin, I’m a great believer in the restorative powers of lying fallow (I wrote a whole post about it on my blog). Glad it has done the trick for you. I really enjoyed reading this new post – and I love the idea of each of us being our own bookshop! Welcome back.

  4. I also used to think of myself as flighty, and still do, in my shakier moments — and I thank you for so beautifully articulating the JOY in being excited about many things (and letting the guilt go)! I love what your write about us all being curious, and the image of each of us being our own bookstore — Thank you for this post and I will be sharing it — it is absolutely what I needed to read today. Snowing outside, spring seems faraway, but your post reminds me — to find warmth in creating, in thinking, in reading, in sharing. Thanks for bringing the sun out and making my day bright!

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