Monday, May 21, 2012

Thing Number Three | Reading

I read books and magazines and newspapers and blogs and e-books and PDFs and e-mails and websites and manuals and booklets and posters and signs and the back of the cereal box.
I read anything and everything. I read voraciously. It’s both a good thing and a bad thing. A good thing because it is my absolute favorite thing to do. I don’t just read a good book, I inhabit it. I reread favorite books over and over again because it’s like visiting old family friends. A part of me is even surprised because nothing ever changes in books. It’s almost as if I think that, if I sneak up on a beloved story, if I catch it unaware, something will have changed. A bad thing because sometimes reading gets in the way of real life. When invited to hang out with friends or family, I may think “But I’m reading.” If Jon wants to go do something, even something fun, I may think “Maybe when I finish this chapter.” I almost always have the corner of a book shoved under the microwave to hold it open, so I can read while I cook. This has lead to some catastrophic cooking failures and some injuries. Both to cooking utensils and to me.

Books are my favorite but I subscribe to the local paper and several magazines. For years and years, I’ve read the paper with breakfast and I cannot fly without magazines. I read my favorite blogs almost daily. I am a recent convert to e-books. Oh, sure, I held out for quite a while. I love the feel and, yes, even the smell of books. Reading a physical book is a sensory experience. I absent-mindedly flip the pages of my book while I’m reading (which drives Jon crazy), because I love the way they feel. Jon offered to get me an e-reader but I wasn’t really interested. He actually bought himself a Kindle but neither of us was that into it, so he sent it back. Then he won a Kindle at ASHA, which was so cool that both of us felt that we kind of had to be into it. And that was the turning point for me. Because to be able to read Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (an excellent but enormous book) on a tiny little Kindle, rather than having to tote around an enormous hardback was revolutionary. When I found out that the Banning Library was going to be part of the Southern California Digital Library and I would be able to check out e-books, that was the icing on the e-cake. I was officially a convert. Later, we got the iPad which was also a revelation because now I could read magazines to which I already subscribe on the iPad. My Kindle books are also on the iPad (but I still love the Kindle because it’s smaller and lighter and I’m less afraid of losing it).

Probably my greatest fear is that someday I will lose my sight and, with it, my ability to read.

Here are a few of the things I'm reading lately:  the June issues of all the magazines to which I subscribe, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (which has me baking yeast bread!!!), Spindle's End (a novelization of "Sleeping Beauty"), blogs on the iPad, and An Ice-Cold Grave on the Kindle (a So Cal Digital Library loan)

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