This article from Oprah's magazine, spotted by an observant NJ librarian, appeared in the Reference Department email inbox: She's Gotta Read It by Pamela Erens. The article describes a busy young mother who looks forward all day to her reprieve from duties and the peace and quiet that reading at the end of each day provides for her. She identifies the total focus and feeling of escape as being "in the flow" as described by psychologist and author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
Erens writes, "I open my book, and the following thought allows me to begin: No one needs me. Maybe no one even remembers who I am! It's too late in the day for me to make any more mistakes, disappoint anyone, complete any uncompleted tasks. However I may have failed or fallen behind, I'm off the hook until sunrise. And time, which all day has pressed like a tight band against my consciousness, slackens. The clock finds a 13th hour."
Whether it's called "time for oneself," "losing oneself," "being in the zone or the flow or the space or whatever", reading is a peaceful escape from the cell-phone buzz, vibrate or trill, computer hum, insistently blinking answering machine, electronic pager, blackberry nag, or other electronic leashes we are all tethered to all day.
Come to the library to get into the flow...