I live alone. One of the upsides of this is that there is no one to be disgruntled by the fact that I currently have 6 books on the other half of my bed; 5 books, 2 journals, and a Kindle on my nightstand; quite a stack on my bedroom floor (close enough to reach, not so close as to be tripped over); a couple on my dining room table; and one on my coffee table. And one in my purse. Those are just the books I currently access. I also have overflowing bookshelves.
Not very long ago, I rarely made time to read. This was mainly because I worked a lot. I grew up reading, though. I would stay home from school “sick” sometimes so I could read. I got away from it for a while, but it seems I’m back with a vengeance… it’s wonderful!
A text from my son recently: “So apparently Charlotte’s Web turns 60 today. N&N (his housemates) have never read that or Stuart Little, and I was just thinking about how cool it is that you used to read us all those awesome books. Thanks for raising us to love reading! :-)” Reading to kids goes back as many generations as I’ve heard stories of in my family. I still almost always have a kids’ book in my stack of current reads. A couple favorites are The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Once in a while, I will read a book and wish I could read it to my kids because I think they’d enjoy it. We often recommend books to each other.
Recently, someone asked me how I could read so many books at once and how I kept the characters straight. At the time, I was reading Dracula, The Fellowship of the Ring, the Bible, and The Audacity of Hope. I can honestly say that I never confused (in any combination) Romanian vampires with Elves or Hobbits from Middle Earth, Senators and Presidents in Chicago and the White House, or God and the Middle East. Ok, some people made comments about there being vampires in public office, but I contend they are not Romanian so they don’t count as characters who can be confused with each other.
Some of my current reads:
~The Case For Faith–Lee Strobel
~Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation–Lynne Truss
~One Word That Will Change Your Life–Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, Jon Gordon
~The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness In Life and Work–Jon Gordon
~Boundaries In Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships–Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend
~Doing Life Differently: The Art of Living With Imagination–Luci Swindoll
~Don’t Know Much About Mythology–Kenneth C. Davis
~Don’t Know Much About Geography–Kenneth C. Davis
~The One Year Chronological Bible NIV–God
~168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think–Laura Vanderkam
~The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–Barak Obama (no really, it says he wrote the whole 2000-page document)
~The Chotchky Challenge: Clear the Clutter from Your Home, Heart, and Mind… and Discover the True Treasure of Your Soul–Barry Dennis
~100 Years of Cocktails: Recipes and History–H. L. Holbrough
That seems like a lot, but I just read what I currently am in the mood for and have access to. Some of those books are paperback, some hardback, and some electronic (Kindle and phone apps). Sometimes, I’ll read 3 or 4 books in a weekend. Some books take me a long time to get through.
Here’s an example of how I take advantage of any spare reading moment. A couple nights ago, I was getting together with a friend for drinks. I got to the (hotel) bar before she did, so I told her I’d wait inside. This is what she found: Me, sitting alone at the bar, drinking a glass of Australian Shiraz, reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves, and chuckling audibly. It really is a very funny book. Since it’s my current “purse book,” I’m usually reading it in public and laughing. This makes people ask what I’m reading… They either get it or they don’t.
What are you reading these days? What are your favorite kinds of books (genres, formats)? How have the books you’ve read influenced you? Can people see into your personality by looking at the book you are reading at any given time? by the stack of books you consider your current-reads and next-reads? Do you, will you, have you read to your kids? Do you write in your books–if so, what do you write?
By the way, Thank you, Jerry (http://authorisinthehouse.wordpress.com/) for reminding me to write again!