I remember once for some reason I had to write an essay on “My Favorite Place”. . . I don’t recall if it was back in school, a meme, a writing prompt or what. But since I’m quirky, and I don’t like to do the expected, my answer was “The left side of my couch”.
Now I’m no couch potato–anyone who knows me knows that although I’m not huge on exercising I am huge on DOING. Knitting. Gardening. Sewing. Crafts.
But that left seat on my couch? That’s where I do my best reading-curled up with a book, a blanket snuggled around me and a cup of coffee steaming on the arm that is conveniently wide and flat.
I love to read.
Love, not just like, love.
I am a voracious reader when I have the time, and sometimes even when I don’t. If I have a good book it is hard for me to do anything else-to eat, to sleep, to work-until it’s done. I actually have to set a kitchen timer if I stop to read during the day to make sure that I will get back to work. If you gave me a choice between having to give up TV or books, it wouldn’t even be a contest. I could live quite happily for the rest of my life without watching another TV show or movie. But not to read? That would be torture.
I’ve always been a reader. I have memories of lying in bed till all hours reading “Sara Crewe” with a flashlight when I should be sleeping. The most effective threat of punishment my parents could offer was to take my books away. I read during class. At recess. At home. Eating breakfast. I even admit as a teen to reading at stoplights while I was driving because a book was THAT good.
I can read a 300 page novel in a couple of hours, and books become so real to me that sometimes can’t remember if I’ve read something or seen it in a movie. Characters–especially in well loved series–become cherished friends. I remember–vividly remember–reading “All the Wyers of Pern” by Anne McCaffrey and bursting into tears in the waiting room of the dentists office because a beloved character had died. Tears.
Now that I think of it, reading truly has been the one ongoing constant in my life. That one descriptor–“I’m a reader”–since 2nd grade, has always remained true.
Books have always been entertainment, a friend, an escape for me. You can travel to worlds unknown and only in imagination without ever leaving your home. The bred in me–unexpectedly–a yearning to travel, to see more than what is in front of me. They gave me a huge vocabulary, a variety of thoughts, and a love of learning what is new and different. They’ve been there when times were bad and things were painful and I just need to be somewhere, anywhere else for a while. To forget me and to become, just for a bit, someone else
Although I’ve never counted I’m sure the number of books I’ve read in my lifetime has got to be in the thousands.
Reading is versatile. I can read wherever I am. I don’t need electricity. I don’t need money. All I need is a little bit of time-and even that can be broken up into little chunks.
Reading is the ultimate frugal entertainment. You can get books by the score from your local library completely for free. Most folks who buy books are more than happy to loan them out as long as you return them. You can buy books for a pittance at estate sales, rummage sales, garage sales and thrift stores. You never need to lack for new and interesting reading material!
And just in case you were wondering what brought this outpouring of bookish love on today-well, it was going to the library and unexpectedly finding a new book by a favorite author who hasn’t published anything in a while. The feeling of immediate joy-yes joy-excitement and anticipation made me gasp out loud, snatch the book of the shelf and clutch it to my chest as if someone else might walk up and steal it away. . . and I realized-this is me, truly me-the part of me that has been me the longest. And I just had to share.