Skimming is cheating. My heart ached the first time someone said, "How do you get so much from skimming through a book?" Oof. That hurt just writing it. I do not skim through books! I'm not a speed reader either. You would be surprised at the amount of typos I can find, consistency errors, and grammatical mistakes, and that's not including the unproofed reviewer's copies I receive. I once had someone suggest that I read the first 40, the middle 40 and the last 40 pages of a book I didn't like so I could review it. I couldn't do it. So, I promise all my readers, I read every book I review from cover to cover. Pinky Swear! I spent many a college nights writing term papers on books I never read, and referencing other books I pretended to read. Dude, remember that paper on Jane Austen the Monday after Homecoming weekend? Emma who? No more!
Television kills brain cells. There is not much television that requires my full attention, so while some people relax in front of the boob tube between the hours of 8 and 11, I am there, on the couch, reading. The only show that has ever required my full and undivided attention was Lost. And, don't make me shed another tear for Jack Shepard...please...*sniff* The Yankees may not require my attention, but they get it, too, especially when Andy Pettitte is pitching...
My kids don't play with me any more. I have two very active boys, who like to play outside. My little guy isn't quite as independent as he thinks he is, and can be a bit accident prone. Since I'm a worrywart, I don't leave them out there by themselves, so you can usually find me in my chair off the the side of the yard reading while they play basketball, ride scooters, squirt each other with water guns. Not on Mommy's BOOK!!!
Got a minute? Doctor's offices? Waiting for your kids to finish practice? Picking up someone from school? I always have a book with me. I love my winter purse because it can hold a bowling ball...but it also can hold a hardcover edition of War and Peace - ow, my back! - or Anna Karenina - ow, my morality! or Breaking Dawn - ow, my eyes! It's actually a running joke with the ladies I see around town, "So, Alison, what book is in your bag today?" I'm like Mary freakin' Poppins...instead of a hat stand, I've got books.
If I sit, I read. I read while I eat, I read while I exercise, I read while I blow dry my hair, among other, um, ritualistic morning activities that involves, um, sitting. What's the big deal? Just say it: Everybody poops! Shhhh. My inner voice has learned how to type!! Oh, that's embarrassing.
If I walk, I read. Since I have discovered Audiobooks, I now can add gardening, watering flowers, cooking, folding laundry, and cleaning the house to my list of things I can do while reading. Come winter, I'll probably add shoveling snow to that list - this past winter, that was almost a daily chore that isn't easily forgotten, even in this heat. Audiobooks count as books, by the way. No, I'm not holding the book, that's someone else's job...the nice lady in my earbuds who is reading the story to me. Thank you, lady.
The Car. I will only suffer car sickness for a REALLY good book. If a book is great, I'll suffer for it, and read while The Man drives. We live far from family, far from the shore, far from...well everything we live in the sticks of NJ!!!...so if I can do it, I'll read in the car. Again, the iPod audiobooks come in handy here, but The Man doesn't like it when he doesn't know he's being ignored. He would rather me read a book, that way he KNOWS he's being ignored. Also, he thinks it's weird if he can sort of hear the voice coming through the earbud.
Me Time. Every so often, usually on weekends when The Man is around, I get time to myself. These are longer periods of time during which I can indulge in reading, curled up in a chair, drinking my coffee. No watching the clock, not rushing to finish a chapter before the bus comes. It's me, my book, and my coffee QUIET! Mommy's trying to read! I'm not necessarily alone, but I pretend to be. These times are rare and precious and STOP hitting your brother! don't happen all that often now that school's out for summer. So, when I can sneak off into a corner and read I'm locking this door! I can take time to enjoy my guilty pleasure that doesn't make me feel all that guilty. Stop pulling on mommy's book, you know where the band-aids are!
Lucky Me! Books are a blessing, and I am beyond grateful to have so many books to choose from at any given time. As a book blogger, I receive books to review from publishers, publicists and sometimes directly from authors. I have an amazing county library with a handy dandy on-line reservation system. I'm also a book buying addict. Some girls love shoes...I love books. I can't go more than a week or two without visiting my favorite book shop. They're all so shiny and new! Who am I kidding, I love the old and worn ones even better! Right now, I have a bookshelf full of books - and a floor stacked with books, and a nightstand stacked with books and a library tote bag stuffed with books - all waiting to be read. Especially that copy of The Lacuna that's been giving me the stink-eye for the past year. I am book blessed.
So, while you are chillin' out watching So You Think You Can Dance, or flipping through a magazine, or concentrating with all of your attention on your 5 year old's ability to maneuver a two-wheeler, I'll be reading!
I'm a book lover - it's what I do!
One of these days maybe I'll take pictures of myself in all my favorite reading places, but I'm shy. Bwahahahaaa. Ok, maybe I'm not shy. Maybe I'm just a little lazy? Yep. That's closer to the truth.