I love to read. We read to Liam every night and, many days, in the afternoon. He is in Kindergarten and is testing at an almost 3rd grade reading level. Our job is to work on comprehension with him. So I do a lot of reading. But…
…I seem to have lost the ability to just sit or lie down and read for a good long while. My books. Ones that I want to read. And I don’t always do my own good job of absorbing what I am reading. I find myself going back over a page because I don’t remember any of what I just read.
I don’t like this.
I grew up reading. There was no internet. We were allowed a certain amount of TV time per day. I didn’t have a large circle of friends and was often home. So I read. And re-read. Nancy Drew. Anne of Green Gables. The Happy Hollisters. Honey Bunch. Cherry Ames (as my Mom is a nurse and still has a good amount of the series). The Secret Garden. They were all comfort to me and were read over and over.
I could read for hours.
For the record, I hated reading for school – being told what to read and how many pages and having to remember the right things to pass the test on the book. There were only a couple of books from high school that stuck with me for some reason.
In college I would lose track of time when I should have been studying because I would be reading. Somewhere in that time period I discovered science fiction/fantasy and began to work my way through those kinds of series.
I could lie on my dorm bed and read for hours.
After college I moved home, started to work, and, again, spent a lot of time at the library and the newly opened Barnes & Noble, finding books to read. What a wonder B&N was when it first opened. So many books. The place is still dangerous to me, though I try to stick with borrowing from the library to keep the spending down. For now, most of my B&N purchases are for The Cub. Henry Huggins will soon be joining Bunnicula on his shelf.
For 7 years I commuted to work on the train or the bus. I got a lot of reading done on the rides home. Danielle Steele was a big one for me at that time. Then I switched to a company that was more local and I drove to work. There went the commuter reading time. But I still read at home and discovered Nora Roberts and JD Robb.
But somewhere in the past 10 years or so I’ve lost the ability to just sit and read. Blogs and online articles and magazines are easy. Short bits of reading that do not take too long. If I find something that I like I can print it out or fold the page and go back to it. Recipes pile up to be sorted and possibly made, or put into the recycling bin if I later decided that making them will never happen. And I can always find it again if I search hard enough.
But a book. A good book with some depth. Not a basic formula romance. That has become a challenge.
My brain wanders to the chore list, the grocery list, the errands list, the “Did I forget to send that form to school with The Cub?” list, the work list. It loses touch with what I am trying to read and absorb. I take books out from the library that catch my eye and return them without reading them. And if they aren’t new books I have 6 weeks in which to get them read. If I try to read while The Cub is at school I feel guilty, thinking that I should be doing chores or errands so that I can hang out with him when he gets home. And I find myself zoning out in front of HGTV or FoodTV or some such station, or the internet, after he has gone to bed, instead of picking up one of those library books that caught my attention enough for me to bring it home.
Tonight I am going to work on reading, and absorbing what it is that I have read. Time to walk away from the laptop and not turn the TV on. Time to read more of the book that I liked enough the first time that I took it out of the library but didn’t finish that I took it out again and am almost to the end of those 6 weeks.
Wish me Good Reading.