Friday, August 05, 2011

READING and other luxuries

A few months ago I came into the 21st century with regard to reading. Begrudgingly and with a tearful wave to the tactile wonderfulness of a book spine in my hand, the musty smell of a book and its pages, and the beauty of a sweet little bookmark poking out of the top of a book, I got a Nook.

Little did I realize.

This gadget holds thousands of books. The world is my book!

Partially ok mostly because my kids were young, also because I had kids in my arms and no room to tote books, up until a few years ago I had all but stopped reading. Almost sheepishly I admit that with the exception of vacations or hospital sitting I didn't crack a book. Well, I didn't crack a book for pleasure. Cookbooks I cracked plenty. How to raise strong-willed boys cracked a bunch of those too. Anywayzeez not until I began reading again for pleasure, now that my kids are reaching varying stages of independence, did I recognize how very much I was missing.

BC (before children) I think, if memory serves, I probably read minimally a book a week. I forgot how my vocabulary increases exponentially and without me recognizing it. I forgot how my head and my heart become more open, more flexible, more understanding of the world and people around me. I forgot how my brain works at a quickened pace, processes at an accelerated speed (not breakneck ok, I mean this is me we're talking about, not Einstein). I forgot how the more I read the more I crave to read.

I always envied my sweet sissy, who, even when her children were young, could sit on the sofa, totally engulfed by a book. Of course, it's important to know she has girls. They read with her. Sat quietly, looked pretty. All you could hear in the room was pages turning, classical music in the background. All you smelled was perfume. *sigh*

I have boys. Enough said? I can't even describe what our house smells like. (Thank goodness for candles.) I never mastered the art of reading a book while keeping one kid from jumping out of the top branch of a tree while the other one was stealthily placing a springboard on the landing bullseye. And yes, I did have an hour here and there while they were practicing soccer. I discussed snack schedules. Made menus, grocery lists. Clipped coupons. It was either then or during church.

Right now I'm reading four books at once. One fiction, one auto-biography, one memoir, and one cookbook/storybook. My eldest reads two fiction books at once but I don't have the brain power to keep characters and storylines straight. Maybe as I read more.

Each of the four books serves a different purpose and depending on whether I have ten minutes and need to jump into and out of a book quickly, have thirty minutes to read before I go to sleep, or an hour at the pool while the kids play, I have something appropriate to read without having to haul a stack of heavy books around in my arms and in the car. I recommend it.

Ironic what happens when you hesitate to jump out of your comfort zone and embrace new concepts. When the ereaders came out I winced and shook my head, poo-pooing electronic reading in favor of the feeeeeeel of a book, the smell, the experience, of reading a book. Great in romantic theory. Practically, not so much. That poo-poo kept me from reading voraciously which, as it turns out, is way higher on the scale than smelling the mold from an old book and using cute bookmarks.

Just sayin'.

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