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Being A Reader

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The host of Booking Through Thursday reflects:

I was talking to a co-worker the other day about a book I’d read recently, and realized how very, very few people I can do that with. In my daily life, it seems like almost no-one reads anything more than a newspaper or a fashion magazine. I only have one person I can truly chat about books with … and yet, being a Capital-R-Reader, I simply can’t imagine going through life without a book constantly at hand, or shelves of them proudly displayed downstairs. I’m proud of being a person who not only reads, but who reads a lot–not just in volume but in variety. I like having an inquiring mind. I like exploring new ideas. I love following an intricately plotted story (the more layers the better). I love BEING a reader and simply can’t imagine what it’s like to go through life without being one.

I am 38 and I have pretty much been a reader all my life. My parents encouraged reading but it was my teachers in grade school that finally imbued that love for reading in me. In school I read mostly for classes, assiduously perusing all that was required on the book list. As I grew older, I began to seek out books that I find intriguing. More so than for leisure and entertainment, I read out of my love for the language. Intricately plotted books are always great for passing time but it’s the elegance of the prose and a flexible command of the language that drive me to books that become my favorites. I enjoying being a reader and the many facets of a reader: the browsing of bookstore, the probing, the ongoing quest for books, and chatting about them. I have become a more informed human being as a reader, and I have always felt proud that somehow between all the distractions and temptations that a child might have been indulged in, I took up reading. That said, I never thought I’m a better person just because I have been a scrupulous and prolific reader, but the reading, being part of my upbringing, has played a role in cultivating one’s social manner. People would marvel at how I devour all the books. To this flattering remark I counter the fact that television, video games, and all the frenzied social texting have never put a hook on me. While people are busy texting and watching Dancing with the Stars I’m taken up with a book on my couch. As you see, reading has become part of me like breathing, like taking in nourishment. I might skip a meal or two, but I always have a book to read—and have a few lined up. If a cup of coffee is what it takes to rub off sleep in my eyes, then some good reading time is how to start the day right. Some say reading is for escape. For me browsing a bookstore, to be away from the hustle and bustle of outside world is an escape. I always thought bookstore owners, other than being book lovers, are bumbling along in this world of their dreams, trying to do their best without any grip of reality. At least for me reading is the brighter side of reality.


5 Responses

  1. I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

  2. Love your post. I’m much the same way. I’ve always read. I’d rather read a book than watch television and I always stay up way too late reading. My husband has learned to sleep with my bedside lamp on!

    2 Kids and Tired Books BTT

  3. I share your experience of not having anyone near me to discuss books with. Everyone I know and spend time with are too busy with the t.v. to read. If it wasn’t for reading blogs and blogging myself my life would be lived in a tunnel with just my books alone.

  4. My best job ever was working at an independent bookstore in SF. I spent 8 glorious, fulfilling years there and made lifelong friends with whom I can talk about books until the proverbial cows come home. Reading is nourishment indeed, of the most precious kind. Loved this post, thank you for sharing.

  5. I am too rarely without a book and I would much rather sit down and read than watch the mindless telvision that we get more often than not on British TV.

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