Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Joys and Woes of Being a Reader

via Pinterest

To say that I love to read isn't really true. To say that I have to read is more accurate. I've been this way since I was small. I bugged my mother to teach me how to read when I was four, and I've been fascinated by the written word ever since.

Reading has been a joy and a curse.

Through books I've traveled the world, and beyond. I've met fascinating people, witnessed amazing feats and fallen in and out of love more times than I can count. I know that the correct pronunciation of the Levitation Charm is Wingardium Leviosa, not Leviosa. (Thanks, Hermione!)

I know that hobbits have hairy feet and curly hair. That "real" vampires sparkle in the sunlight, that you really don't want to mess with Joe Pike or Jack Reacher or Harry Bosch. I know what the Deathly Hallows are and who Sethos really is.

History, real and imagined, has come to life before my eyes. My imagination has reveled in fictional accounts, and my perspective has been widened through non-fiction.

My taste in reading material is eclectic, to say the least. Fiction, non-fiction, good books, bad books, so-so books - I'll try them all, although bad books never get read through. I'm not that desperate! Life is too short to read bad books.

In addition to my reading addiction I am a very fast reader. This is not a good thing. I try to slow down, I really do, but it never works for long. I want the story to go on and on, but, alas, the last page is turned all too soon. That's why I like books with hundreds and hundreds of pages, like the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon. It also helps if a book is at least a bit complex. I can read (and enjoy) a Spenser novel by the late Robert B. Parker in a few hours, but Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache books take awhile longer to digest.

Read my books over and over again. I cringe when I seek books used solely for decorative purposes. Make a lamp out of a stack of books? But I might want to read them sometime! I guess it's OK if they're copies, but still...

If you visited my house today, you would see why the above slogan is so appropriate. I will put down a book if I must, but I do it reluctantly. Who wants to scrub floors when the Orcs are about to attack Helms Deep? Or when Mr. Darcy is just about to say something profound to Miss Elizabeth Bennett? Or when the Volturi come calling? First things first, people!

My addiction is quite sad, really. In doctors' waiting rooms I was once reduced to reading poorly written brochures about obscure diseases, ancient copies of Field & Stream, even old Highlights, the children's magazine. (I almost always find all the hidden objects in the picture!)

Now that I have an iPad, I can take reading material with me. E-books are a wonderful convenience, but nothing can take the place holding a real book.

I admit I stopped reading long enough to write this post (although, technically, I'm reading as I write), but I really must find out what the Emersons are up to now. (See, the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters.)

1 comment:

Botanic Bleu said...

We are kindred spirits. You could be writing about me in this post. Oh, yes, I've been reduced to reading motorcycle magazines before, and let's not forget the back of cereal boxes or whatever else I'm eating.

I am now following on both GFC and bloglovin'.

Best wishes for continued best-news scenarios with your health.