While I was growing up, books were my life. In fact, that’s why I write today — because the magic of disappearing into a good book was so powerful, I wanted to create that magic for other people. I read All. The. Time. I’d hide under a table with a book, and well-intentioned relatives would tell me to go outside and play with the other kids.
But I read outside, too. I was a tree-climbing reader, a blanket-on-the-grass reader, a roof-of-the-camper reader. And when I was reading, time stopped. People talked to me and I didn’t hear them. The sun went down and I didn’t realize it until I couldn’t make out the words any more. I even kept a flashlight under my pillow so I could read beneath the blankets when it was time for bed.
My personal Disneyland was the Used Book Warehouse. Our family made monthly pilgrimages to this mammoth building filled with books — lined up on floor-to-ceiling shelves, stacked on end tables, stowed in crates. There was an entire room full of Harlequin paperback romances, a bigger room with thrillers and horror, and mountains of books on every subject, in every genre. They were cheap — no book more than $3, most of them less than $1. We’d load up with as many books as we could carry every time.
Today, things are a little different. Being a responsible adult (cough), I never seem to get the opportunity to climb a tree and bury my nose in a book any more (though I’ve been known to take a summer afternoon on the front lawn with blanket and a book). Today, most of my reading happens in the bathroom. I have a stack of books in there on a stool, with various scraps and sundries stuck in to mark my places.
It’s rare that I’ll read an entire book in one sitting — but sometimes, it still happens. If a story grabs me enough, I will not put the book down. I’ll read while I’m cooking dinner, while I’m loading the dishwasher, in bed long into the wee hours…and while I should be working. And when I finish the story, I remember why I love reading — and why I write.
So how do you read?