A Weekly Column
by Mary K. King
September 17, 2020
The other day, I came across a shirt online that said something along the lines of, “My book is calling and I must go.”
If there were ever a shirt I needed to own during this pandemic, this is it. While things outside of our homes are anything but ordinary, I have found my own escape to normal times through the pages of some bestsellers over the last several months. From popular political tell-alls, to your run-of-the-mill romance, I’ve been ticking novels off of my seemingly-never-ending list of things to read at (for me) record-breaking pace. Some friends and I even started a book club (recently finishing our fourth book: The Nickel Boys).
Through the pages of these books, I have lived in Paris, off the coast of Maine, in the desert and on top of mountains. I’ve celebrated Christmas and Kwanzaa, and I’ve been on the solving end of some high-profile cases. In these worlds, things have been normal. People, like us, are hugging, shaking hands, going to concerts and living ordinary lives, fictional or otherwise.
Immersing myself into their stories has provided a respite from reality. Turning each page (or, really, clicking through to the next page on my Kindle), I dive deeper and deeper into this alternate world, full of normalcy and status quo.
While my own routine has been disrupted, I have been longing for the ordinary. I’d like to go have a happy hour with my friends, take a vacation with my new husband, or sit down with people in our community one-on-one for interviews again. I’m grateful for my own health and the health of my family, but I’m simply tired.
So, I’ll wrap myself up in my Snuggie on these cooler evenings, open up my e-reader, and go to all the places that we can’t right now. But first, I’m ordering that shirt.
Tweets by @MKingJCA
Mary K. King, editor of the Jackson County Advocate newspaper, grew up in the Grandview community. She currently serves on the Missouri Press Association Board of Directors and works as Development Coordinator for the Grandview Education Foundation. Previously, she served as president of Grandview Main Street and was on the board of directors of the Kansas City Press Club. Her most important title is that of "Mom" to her teenage son.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.