Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wordy Wednesday-Once upon a time, a lament for reading time

(Downton Abby actors reading between takes)

Once upon a time I read voraciously. I can remember whole days, beginning when I was eight year sold, where I did almost nothing but read. Maybe I would empty the dishwasher. Maybe I ate some food ( I am sure I did.) But mostly I read.  In bed.  On the couch. On the porch. Wherever.  I would pick up a book and pretty much not put it down till I was done. And then sometimes I would pick up a second book and read well into the midnight hours. The cares of my life where never so great that I couldn't escape into a good, great or moderately okay book for as long as I wanted. 
Those were the good ole days and I had no idea.

The school I work at does a great job of encouraging reading ( as all schools should) and all day long I see kids  in the hall either in line for the restroom, for lunch or transitioning between classes, and the majority of them have books pressed up to their noses, totally engrossed. I envy them.  

I am still a big reader, but not as much as I wish. And it's not just the reading I miss, but it is the reading and the doing nothing else. When reading a book was the extent of my day. When I didn't have to forgo some great responsibility,  in order to spend the time just reading. I could just read and read and read... I could read anything and everything because I knew I would have plenty of time. Now I choose wisely and selectively. I don't want to waste one minute on something I won't love. Reading time is precious commodity not to be taken lightly.

Sometimes I look at my boys, completely absorbed in their books, or at my students who are bumping into doors because they are walking and reading at the same time and are so completely entranced in the story that they know nothing else around them. I wonder if they know how lucky they are. Lucky that spending hours reading is encouraged. Is their job even.
 Probably not. I had no idea at that age. I thought I would always spend days upon days reading.
Of course I also thought I would own a fashion empire, have 6 kids and be Southern Baptist all my life.
Funny how things change.


  1. I was able to read like that over our Christmas break. I finished four books, an entire series, in less than a week. It was glorious.

  2. The only time I seem to read with abandon is sitting outside on the deck in the summer - and it feels so good to just read for the whole afternoon - this time of the year I only read at bedtime - I'd like to read more too.. I love books!!


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