Tuesday, March 27, 2012

On Being Addicted to Reading; or, Will I Ever Stop Reading? Will you?

Can I share a secret?

I'm OBSESSED WITH READING.

Absolutely consumed with it, honestly.  And really, just fiction and sometimes poetry.  I mean, I can read nonfiction if I have to, or if it's really directed towards my interests...but for the most part, I just want to read fiction.

All the time.  

And I find that, even more than ever, I MUST have a book with me, always.  Because hey, you never know. What if there's a long wait at the dentist's? That's fifteen more minutes to read. Or if we're on a long road trip...or, going to Abby's parent's, which is only about fifteen minutes away...or, if we get to church early and I've got ten minutes to spare...

You see where this is going.  I'm literally addicted to reading, about as badly as I am addicted to books themselves.  When I see free books, I've got to almost physically restrain myself from taking them, regardless of whether they're stories I'm interested in...simply because they're free.

So yeah, I read a lot.  One book in the morning, a different book before bed, and at least snippets from one or two books during the day at school, the books I'm currently teaching.  And yeah, I'm a fast reader - not gonna deny that - but really, I'm one of those bookwormish folks who'd stereotypically rather pass up human contact for reading.  Good thing I've never had a social life, because at this point in my life, if I had one, I'm pretty sure I'd give it up for more reading time.

What are vacations to me? Week long reading marathons.  Have to sit at the mechanic for four hours while my car gets fixed?  Won't be a problem....my favorite used book store is in walking distance.  I'll just hike on over there, grab a book to pass the time (I actually did this last May...)

Which makes the concept of NOT reading...or, for some reason, losing my LOVE of story...an
absolute NIGHTMARE.

I mean, Good Lord....not read fiction, anymore?

And yet, I see this problem or shift or opinion expressed with increasing frequency among my writer folk on Facebook and other social networking venues, that not only do they not read nearly as much as they used to, they can't seem to MAKE themselves read fiction, or even enjoy it all, anymore.

Now, there are a variety of really good reasons for this. One I've seen expressed by a lot of my writer friends who are getting busier and busier on the writing front - when they have contracted work that needs to be done, they're climbing the ladder, getting a lot more work  solicited from them, it only makes sense - they don't have as much time to read, anymore. And honestly, I WISH I was that busy with writing gigs.

AND, I can also see how a reader gets more discerning with age.  I've gotten that way.  There are certain books by certain writers than I've learned to avoid, because I simply don't want to read that kind of story. Also, things like Star Wars  novels - which I at one time collected and read with a voracious passion - I just don't HAVE it for those novels, anymore.  Don't know if I'll ever read another Star Wars novel ever again.

But lose my love of reading fiction?

Of obsessively consuming story after story?

Oh, I hope and pray not.  I just couldn't imagine losing my love for something like that.  Here's hoping I never do.  I mean...I may actually have to TALK to people and stuff, then....