It’s not easy for me to write about myself, it doesn’t come naturally. However, I’m going to push myself from time to time to bring you [No Umbrella Required]; snippets of who I am. So here we have my first post on how books have become somewhat of my personal shield.

If you ask people why they enjoy reading they might tell you that they love to be transported to a different place in time, that they read to relax or even use reading as a sleeping aid. I read for a whole lot of reasons but only recently have I twigged on how books have become my shield.

Yes, the books I read are my shield. It puts a barrier between you and me so I don’t have to engage in conversation. It’s not the same with a digital device, I’ve noticed people will interrupt me if I’m holding a phone or ipad.

I’m an introvert. You wouldn’t think I was, my high school friends probably don’t remember me as such but as I grew to understand myself better, I noticed that I enjoyed my quiet, that being with groups of people and loud environments was draining. I can manage quite comfortably in the wilds of society, I can animate a group, give a speech or walk into a crowded room and converse with just about anyone – but I’d seriously prefer not to.

I carry physical books with me all the time now and have a spare in my car (just in case). Having a book in my hands; I’ve noticed that I blend into the background. No one really notices the lady with the book. Actually, with everyone on their devices.. no one actually pays any attention to the immediate around them anyway. This does have its little voyeuristic advantages. I’m able to peek silently over the pages to witness a mother-daughter feud about wearing too much makeup or spy on the guy in the corner who can’t stop eyeing the legs of Miss High-Heels waiting in line.

And……Since I’m being honest – Books have also been my shield against binge eating in the evening. I used to weight over 2oo lbs. I don’t anymore. One of the main reasons (aside from lifestyle and dietary changes) is books. Keeping my hands busy with page turning has kept them out of the snack bowl. I dislike getting my book pages messed up with even the slightest bit of foodstuff residue. It’s worked well for me so far. Oh, I’m not perfect… sometimes hunger’s sword overthrows the written word… but thankfully not the majority of the time.

Obviously books are more than just a buffer, they have transported me to faraway lands and given me insight into concepts I didn’t know much about. They give me a sense of comfort and a place to escape. Books take up a huge chunk of my life and I don’t plan on giving up my armour anytime soon.

Perhaps in my next [No Umbrella Required] I’ll share with you my personal journey and struggles with reading.

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