Monday, January 22, 2007

Another Better Thing to Do...

...than clean house is reading, my all-time favorite pastime. I have been a reader ever since I learned how. It's such a great way to explore new places and have new experiences vicariously. I imagine I come by this passion honestly by the fact that both of my parents and my maternal grandmother were avid readers, and there was always reading material around my house. My dad still reads a lot and is the source of much of my reading material. Therefore, I am one of those people you see who carries a book most places that I may have to wait for something, like at the doctor's office or the hairdresser. I LOVE to read! And I thank my parents for the great example they provided me when I was growing up.

Now I don't want to give the impression that I read a lot of deep and learned works. I am mainly a reader of light fiction, mostly mysteries with some historical stories and biographies thrown in for variety. I am not big into poetry, philosophy, short stories, or self-help books ( unless I am researching something). My all-time favorite book, political correctness notwithstanding, is "Gone With the Wind." It is one of the few books I have read several times and enjoyed each time. Usually, once is enough to read a book. There are far too many books out there to waste time reading the same one twice! For this reason, I am one of the library's best customers.

Right now I am reading my way through several mystery series. I try to read them in order, but that's not always possible. I have read several Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich, and I am working my way through the alphabet series by Sue Grafton starring Kinsey Milhone. I am up to K in that series. I am also working on the "Prey" series by John Sandford. I'm also a big fan of the Kay Scarpetta books by Patricia Cornwell. I have also read most of Nora Roberts's work and lots by Debbie Macomber, Mary Higgins Clark, and Liz Curtis Higgs. I guess you can see a pattern here.

It is easy to overlook the clutter on the kitchen table or the dust on the living room furniture when there are other worlds to explore. I can totally tune out my surroundings while I am wrapped up in a story, and that is pretty often, I'm afraid. Terry sometimes gets understandably frustrated when he is trying to talk to me, or he wants me to see something on the television, and I keep pointedly looking back at my book, not appreciating the interruption. It has been a bone of contention throughout most of our marriage. He is not a reader, and he can't understand my fascination with the written word. We have worked out a compromise, for the most part. He gives me uninterrupted reading time before bed, and at other times, I try to make myself available for his conversation.

I love reading to children, and I like to employ different voices for the different characters in the stories. I got a lot of practice reading to kids while I was teaching, because I made a point to read to the class every day after lunch. It was a sacred routine in my classroom, and the kids would never let me get away without the reading time. I didn't get as much experience reading to my own kids, however. Alissa loved being read to until she could read herself, and then that's what she wanted to do. She is still a reader, reading me under the table, so to speak. Chip didn't really want to be read to, either, but he did grow up to be a reader. Doug did like to be read to, and we continued it until he was through elementary school, partly to help him improve his skills and party because he enjoyed the experience. I miss having the chance to read to kids now that I am retired. I look forward to having more chances to read to grandchildren, though!

Well, Stephanie Plum is calling. She is in big trouble and less than 70 pages from getting out of it. I'll know pretty soon how the story ends!


Alissa said...

You know, I haven't gotten around to any of those Stephanie Plum books yet. If you own them, set them back for me, please!

I have 16 books here just waiting for a home...some of them could be yours if the timing is right ;-)

Susie said...

We are so much alike in our love of reading. GWTW is my all time fav too! Debbie Macomber is a favorite and I used to love LaVerle Spencer!
I do all the voices too when I read to my grandkids. Both my children and grandchildren love to read as much as me!