Reading Habits

It’s raining today. When the rain falls, I want to eat chocolate, watch an old movie on TV, drink a glass of wine, or curl up with a good book. It’s the ideal setting to relish a good read. But, I often find myself too busy to leisurely sit and enjoy the company of a novel, my favorite reading material. Nowadays I’ll grab a few minutes between TV commercials to pore over pages, read a bit while enjoying my morning cup of coffee or waiting to see the doctor, and . . . that’s it. Where’s the time? It flies, it drives, it jumps, it disappears . . . whatever it does, it’s gone.

Recently, I got to thinking about when there were more minutes in the day to enjoy pastimes. Once, I stayed up late to finish The Exorcist. I kept glancing up with every squeak or sigh, convinced that the devil was around the corner. There were others in the house, sleeping, but I was still spooked. When I was 17, my siblings and I traveled the US by car, visiting 30 states. I sat in the backseat and devoured a book by Victoria Holt. At that time I didn’t suffer from car sickness, and I was addicted to Ms. Holt’s gothic romances. It was a great alternative to watching unending rows of corn stream by our window as we drove through Iowa. On a plane ride to Hawaii one summer, I started the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and finished it in our hotel room. My hubby patiently waited for me. I refused to do any sightseeing until I’d finished reading about the tattooed girl. Good thing it didn’t take long. But this type of reading–devouring instead of slowly consuming–isn’t necessarily the best way to appreciate a well-written story. I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy in my early teens over a period of weeks. It was a pleasurable experience I will always hold close to my heart.

These days I spend more time writing than reading, but that’s a good thing. Books have taught me a lot and have given me much pleasure. Now I hope that my writing will bring pleasure to others.

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