Friday, November 3

Go Away; I'm Reading

I am a Reader. And yes I use initial caps for that. A Reader is someone who reads for the sheer enjoyment of it. Not to pass the time or to educate ourselves, although that's always a nice by-product. We carry books around with us just in case we get a moment or two when nothing else is expected of us. If we walk into the doctor's office and we are told it will be a 15 minute wait, we are secretly gleeful because it means we get 15 minutes of reading time, guilt free. We aren't neglecting something else we should be doing, its not our fault that there's a wait. But we're willing to take advantage of it.

My reading is an addiction, an obsessive-compulsive disorder I cheerfully embrace. I'd rather be reading than doing anything else. I can lose myself for hours between the pages of a book. I need to read the way an athlete needs exercise. And a lot of people don't understand that. They don't need to understand. Just accept. I am blessed because I have people in my life who do accept. My love of books is not because my life is boring, or no more than anyone else's anyway. Its not because I have nothing else to do. Its not because I am devoid of friends. I have friends. I have family. I have a job and responsibilities and obligations up the Yazoo. My love of the written word is not something that needs fixing, or a 12-step program. It is not something that I can be coaxed out of or shown the error of my ways. I read for the sheer pleasure of it. I read because its FUN. I read because its what I most want to be doing at any given time.

And I am not alone. This reading obsession is not an aberration, it is not abnormal. Lots of people feel exactly the way I do. I know this because I've encountered them. Oh, yes, we recognize each other. We're the folks who carry a book with us EVERYWHERE. We're on building rooftops (its quiet and not crowded), on subway cars (you aren't expected to make eye contact anyway), in coffee shops (its practically trendy to read over your latte). And every so often self-preservation nudges at us enough to look up and around at the rest of the world. At the table next door, or a few people away we'll spot another head buried in another book. Maybe that person will look up at that moment and see our book, our eyes will meet, and we both smile. Because we recognize a kindred spirit. And then we go back to reading because conversation is not only not encouraged, its a breach of Reader etiquette.

So, the next time you see someone sitting in the waiting room/coffee shop/subway car/etc. and they have a book in front of them ... leave them alone; they're reading.


Sheryl said...

Writers LOVE Readers. It's a symbiotic relationship. Keep reading, we'll keep writing.

Mary said...

I pity the fool who can't (or won't) read.

On the plus side, people who don't read will never know that I just typed that. Pity without a backlash. Life is good.

Mary, who is in an exceptionally snarky mood right now for some reason, but who is glad that no non-reader is around to take exception :)

okepec - a medication prescribed by doctors from the okeefenokee tribe, which has of course bought a lot of stock in kaopectac, and has forgotten how to spell ipecac

Margaret said...


I'm SO glad to find another reader who reads just for the fun of it. I'm also a re-reader, if the book is good enough! My family doesn't get it, and never has, and I keep on reading. I see the book play out in my head, like I'm watching a movie, AND I'm also doing the action in the book.

I'm also glad to meet a reader who is not a writer. We need balance, you know; those who write and those who read. There: Balanced.

(And I'm doing fine. Sometimes a big fat chicken and sometimes the bravest soul you ever saw. See? I'm fine, I tell you! LOL)

McB said...

Margaret shared ... I see the book play out in my head, like I'm watching a movie, AND I'm also doing the action in the book.

Oh yes! I do too. Its like dreaming, isn't it? And you get to act out all the parts in your head. Just earlier today I was staking vampires after flying in on a dragon's back. And boy are my arms tired (ba dum bum)

Good to hear from you.

Lou said...

Hah - McB - sounds like you were in the Valley of Silence (perhaps on Dragon Boy?).

I, too, am a reader - and a re-reader - not a writer (although I do write non-fiction articles for our Department Newsletter). I'm happy when my nose is buried in a book, and yes I carry a book everywhere, just in case...

My family doesn't understand it either, but I just keep reading. Thank God for writers and the entertainment value they bring us.

Margaret - glad to hear you are doing well.

McB said...

Lou, Yes! But I've moved on and am currently in NYC, January 2050. The Irish element helps with the culture shock *wiggles eyebrows*

Lou said...

I haven't read JD Robb, but I do like Nora Roberts! I'm currently following a fellow in the Mojave Desert who likes to find new earthquake faults when he's not working as an operative.

McB said...

Oh you have to try her In Death series. Great Nora characters and you get to come back to them again and again throughout the series. Start with Naked in Death and work your way up. You'll thank me, you really will.

Louis said...


Would that book be Ann Maxwell's (aka Elizabeth Lowell) "The Ruby"....excellent book.

Also reccomend the "In Death" series...all twenty something of them. They are all good to read.

Don't carry a book, but do have them in the car to sample while DW shops.

Nothing like reading to take you to another world.