BINGE READING: Old Fart, Introvert, Or Okay
On Facebook, I put out there a question to my network: Am I an old fart, introvert, or okay?
Then I outed my weekend plans. Yes, I had been invited for this and that social activity. But, instead I opted for binge reading. Already I was halfway through “Murder Games.” On the coffee table were one other novel and two nonfiction books.
Facebook, as we know, is a positive medium. So, the feedback was gracious. All assured me that I was okay.
Two added that with all the turmoil in politics and professional life, they also were hanging out at home. What they were doing in their e-cottage, though, was binge watching Netflix.
That attack of self-doubt is nothing new. As Susan Cain hammers, America is the nation of glad-handers. Here is her TED talk.
Those of us who choose solitary pursuits over socializing opportunities will run into buzz saws of criticism-or downright bullying. In high school, the homeroom teacher warned me to present myself as “well-rounded” in the college personal essay.
In a visual age, being buried in books has taken on increased stigma. Of course, as a ghostwriter/scriptwriter, I make it my “business” to consume plenty of the visual pop culture. Clients prefer references to “Game of Thrones” versus even “Murder Games.”
However, when I have to shake off stale thinking or exit anxiety, binge reading does it. Not a weekend of binge watching. Leave it to the dog to confirm that. By time I am about 20 pages into a book, he will sit next to me. Before that, he kept his distance from his frantic pet parent.
No, my way of centering is not for everyone. Cain notes how extroverts perk up around people. I had been a research assistant for a politico who moped around the office and turned electric during speeches and press conferences.
The tough nut to crack on this one is self-acceptance. In my next life I still want to return as an extrovert. They seem to have it easier at work and in life.
Jane Genova is a communications strategist and content-provider.