Monday, March 14, 2011

How to Read 72 Books at Once

 
This is a factual, artist's rendition of what I look like reading.













Hi, my name is Liz, and I'm not an alcoholic. But I read a lot.

A LOT.

And there are quite a few things most people do in their daily lives that I don’t, because I’m reading. You might not readily “get” what it is I’m not doing so that I can read…here is a smallish list of the things I neglect for my habit.

1-      I always go to bed with dishes in the sink. Our dishwasher broke many months ago and I decided I liked the space for storage over another dishwasher. But I’ve also decided I like reading more than having clean dishes in that space before bed.

2-      Exercise. Well, PHYSICAL exercise. I’m stretching and working…my MIND. All you people who run at 5am:  kudos. I’m still working out at 11pm. Beat THAT!

3-      Baking cookies, making desserts, or doing other things that keep us socially connected to our friends including going out on Friday and Saturday nights. If you need me, text me. My phone is always right next to me while I’m READING so I can add a book to the “to-read” list.

4-      You know how you do laundry? I don’t. We do a massive day o’ laundry on Sundays, because it’s a great excuse to read while the washer and dryer are going at the same time. I mean, you have to do SOMETHING...you can't just sit there being useless. I do my "exercising" while doing laundry.

5-      I have heard that people play with their kids in the evenings. I like to think that my sons are developing a healthy love for the written word by my example. Of course, my younger son doesn’t understand why I won’t read TO HIM, but let’s face it: kids these days are entitled little cretins. They’ll thank me someday when they realize the valuable lesson about self-sufficiency I taught them by saying no…so I can keep reading whatever I’ve got in my hands.

Those are just some things I neglect. Bills have gone unpaid…dinner has been uncooked, and groceries have mysteriously stayed on store shelves for days on end.

To my credit I’ve never forgotten a child anywhere, but I have been known to leave the house an hour earlier than school lets out so I can park in front of the school…and read in my front seat.

I don’t use a Kindle, Nook, or any other eReader. I read books, people….LIBRARY books!! Can you believe that? I think you know a little about library books, but I ignore all that I know of them, because I have a problem. Addiction can be a dirty enterprise.
 
This isn't my house...but I wish it was.
 
Reading doesn’t feel like a “check-out” to me, though I know every addict says that about their habit. I get mad when I think my husband is on the computer too much, but how is that any different than seeing me sitting in there with my nose in a  book? It’s no different; I just like to assign a more esoteric value to MY interest.

I admit I’m a waste of a wife and mom, friend and worker. But I don’t care. (That’s the addict’s creed!)

I LOVE READING BOOKS. And like all addicts, I do find that agitation is a real side effect of my not having at least 2 or 3 books on my “currently reading” shelf. There has to be variety and I need to be able to jump around. I like to read a few chapters of non-fiction and then have a nice fiction dessert.

TV watchers know what I’m talking about. Sometimes you want a sitcom for laughs, then you flip the channel for a true crime docu-drama, and maybe you finish off the night with a political satire. Picture me doing that with books.

Don’t you wish you had three books to read RIGHT NOW? It’s okay to leave work or stop going to whatever appointment you have. You don’t need to fix dinner, or pack your kid’s lunches for tomorrow! That report your boss wants can be done in the morning…you work better under pressure anyway, everyone knows that.

Go get a book! In fact, tell you what…I’ll loan you one. It’s free this time. If you like it, come back and talk to me…I got all kinds of stuff. I’m sure we can work out an arrangement.



*Photo of my dream home: Woman Reading Book Among Shelves on Balcony in American History Room in New York Public Library  by Alfred Eisenstaedt
*Artist rendition of me reading was found through a random Google search.


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