Volume November 8, 2007
Would you say that you read about the same amount now as when you were younger? More? Less?
That’s a great question from Deb at Booking Through Thursday.
When I was a kid (or, as my children like to say, in the “olden days”), I prefered reading to almost any other activity. I grew up in Michigan, where the winters were long and cold, and where it rained every few days in spring and summer. We didn’t have all the options kids have today when forced to stay inside.
Cartoons were for Saturday mornings only, not every day of the week. There was no cable, Dish Network or satellite, no Disney Channel, Nick Jr. or Cartoon Network, no internet, DS games, Wii Systems, DVDs or DVRs, no cell phones, or iPods. My kids would say, “How boring!” But I don’t remember being bored. If we wanted to amuse ourselves, we played board games, or made cookies, or built forts out of blankets and couch cushions, or put clothes on the dog. We made up games and played creatively. And we read books. Lots of books. We made weekly trips to the library and brought home armloads of books.
I read constantly until high school. With homework and a social life, I had less time to read. I stayed out late and got up early. I was on the phone for hours. I went away to college and didn’t have time to read for pleasure. Years went by. I started working, dating, going out with friends, and reading less and less.
As a young adult, I was on a cross country flight to visit my in-laws in Pennsylvania for the first time. I picked up a paperback copy of “The Firm” by John Grisham to read on the plane. That 5 hour flight went by soooo fast, and just like that, I was a reader again.
My daughters are a year apart. When they were babies, I barely had time to brush my teeth, let alone read. So for a few years when they were really small, the only reading I did was month-old magazines in the pediatrician’s waiting room.
It helps that my girls are a little older now and more self-sufficient. I read during my daughters’ soccer practices, band practice, tennis lessons. I read in the car while I wait for them to get out of school. I rarely watch tv in the evening, so instead I read at night after the kids are in bed.
Last year, I started a book club in an effort to combine my love of reading with my desire for a social life. Since the club began, I’ve been reading like a fiend, plus as a bonus I get out of the house once a month without my kids (or husband) and drink wine and talk books with friends. What could be better?
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