A year ago Black Friday I went shopping to Barnes and Noble, as per usual, but I went with a plan. I gathered my family members with their 30% off coupons and we went store-to-store buying me all the books I wanted. It was fun, getting all these hardcover books that ordinarily I would never get. And, I met one of my first YA Fantasy writers through my Black Friday post: Taran Matharu. It was his first book, The Novice, that helped me out of a tight spot and this year I needed that again, but for a different reason.

The circumstances leading up to this Black Friday were unique. It wasn’t a normal reading slump; the fear and anxiety I was experiencing was so great that I didn’t want to do anything that may make me think.

In July I was assaulted by a man I thought I could trust. From that time on until Black Friday I was a shut-in. I spent my free time studying for my court hearing so I could go up alone against him and his lawyer. However, five months of not reading physical books took it’s toll. I was glued to the television. Not because I didn’t want to read, but because I needed the loud noise and action going on, overpowering everything in my apartment so I wouldn’t have to think.

On Black Friday of ’17 I hopped out of bed, ready to do one of the most exciting things in this life: a big-ass sale at Barnes and Noble. I didn’t expect to come home and read. I wanted to read, I wanted to for five months, but I didn’t think I’d actually be able to finally do it.

Much like The Novice got me out of my reading slump, Diary of a Haunting:Book of Shadows by M. Verano did too. It was an easier read, BoS, because it was tense, things were moving quickly, and it was the kind of book that made me want to lock my bedroom door all night and not venture out to take care of everyone. I jumped from Diary to Royal Bastards with hardly a second thought.

I’m so thankful for books and for Barnes and Noble gift cards and coupons. I needed books, I knew I needed them, but I couldn’t get back into them. But I’m different now. I know what makes me happy and when the appropriate time is.

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