Ever read a book, so good, you lose yourself, and at the end, are not quite sure where you are or what you’re doing?
It was a spring afternoon in 1992. I was lying on my mom’s couch, finishing the last pages of a book. My mom yelled for me to put my laundry away. I finished the book, put it down, grabbed my laundry, and for some odd reason, I remember walking out the front door and I just kept walking. I got to the parking lot of our apartment complex and realized I was in a total daze. I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going.
I came back in the house, laundry in tow to greet my mom standing in the living room with a puzzled look on her face. “Where did you go and why did you take your laundry?” The only explanation I had was I lost myself in the book I was reading. It was as if I was sleepwalking – or daydream walking.
The book was The Door to December by Dean Koontz. I’m not a crazy Dean Koontz fan (I think I’ve read one other book by Koontz, Icebound), but the point to the story is that I miss the feeling after finishing a book. Being overwhelmed with what you’ve just read; wanting to read more and the excitement to move on to the next one, is what I miss about reading often.
Over the past couple of years my reading has gone down drastically. I went from reading a couple books or more a month, to barely a book every few months.
My love of reading has come and gone in spurts. I know I struggled with it as a child. I was not a big fan of the books we read in school…then again; I wasn’t a big fan of school… at the time. I know I enjoyed going to the library with my grandmother as a young child. There are a couple books in my teens that I can remember latching on to… Run Baby Run, by Nicky Cruz; Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous; and The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper.
It wasn’t until I went back for my high school diploma, and started working my first corporate job did I realize the importance of reading…but also the joy that comes in learning from the book. I had a good teacher in my High School Diploma program who thought outside the box. He knew he had to capture my attention differently…so the books he prescribed were mostly non-fiction, gritty, pull at your guts and heart strings. I loved it…and I kept reading, and reading, and reading. Before I knew it I was working on my Bachelors in Business Management fulltime, working 60+ hours a week, and was reading at least a book every two weeks.
In the past 7 months, I’ve read 3 books, started the 4th and haven’t made time to finish it. Three months to finish a book…I feel like my brain is slow and mushy. When I was reading frequently, my vocabulary was sharp and I was learning (not all but most books I read are non-fiction). I figure one book a month is a good start… to get back on track. I know like everything else on my LIST, I must make the time to read. Right now, the only time I seem to find is at night when my head hits the pillow. I begin to read and before I know it, it’s 2am and I’m face down drooling on page 26, only to have advanced by 2 pages.
So the goal is one book a month…for now…I hope that will increase with time. I will carve out a couple nights a week to devote to reading instead of spending time on the computer.
RANDOM ITEM #1 on THE LIST: Read at least 1 book a month
Just a few of the books I’d like to read… what are some of your “books to read”?
- Fraud – David Rakoff
- Don’t Get too Comfortable – David Rakoff
- Half Empty – David Rakoff
- The Gonzo Papers – HST
- The Curse of Lono – HST
- Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972 – HST
- The Kitchen and the Cook – Nicolas Freeling
- Down and Out in Paris and London – George Orwill
- Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlosser
- A Cooks Tour – Anthony Bourdain
- Stanley Park – Timothy Taylor