06 December 2004

I've forgotten how to read!

My Dad taught me how to read before I started kindergarden and I've been a huge reader ever since. When asked what I like to read the answer is usually "anything I can get my hands on," which is largely but not completely true. I don't read crappy romance novels (Georgette Heyer doesn't write crappy romance novels. She writes sharp, funny, comedies-of-manners disguised as romance novels.), true crime books with lots of icky pictures, bad genre mysteries, Nora Roberts (even though she went to my high school, her books are so bad on so many levels), most of the books sold at the grocery store, Dean Koontz, What's-his-name Paterson, the Left Behind books.....

Anyway, the ever-shrinking list of what I do read aside, in the last several years I have been so busy that a lot of my reading for pleasure occurs while I'm waiting for something else: in line at the grocery store, at red lights, in elevators, during the second/third/fourth run of scenes I'm not in, while my dinner partner is in the bathroom, or during commercials while I watch tv. But those are generally small chunks of time, a minute or so. And when I'm at home, I find so many little chores I need to do that I spend my small amounts of time at home doing laundry, throwing things out, cleaning the kitchen, re-organizing stuff, bemoaning how I don't yet completely fit into my condo, cooking, doing cat maintenance, playing Freecell, surfing the net, etc, that I don't sit down and just read when I'm there. It takes me days and days to finish a 200-page book.

So now I find that when I pick something up determined to just read, I can't. My focus seems to be limited to the length of the average article in "Time" magazine. (Remember that bit in The Big Chill? Michael says that the editorial policy at "People" magazine is that no article should be no longer than the average crap. And Harold points out that you can read Dostoyevsky in the can. "Yes," says Michael, "but you can't finish it."


Anonymous said...

Hmm, speaking of non-crappy romance novels, have I ever mentioned Jennifer Crusie to you? I only mention it because, well, actually, because I mention it whenever I possibly can. At every opportunity. My roommate and I have a tendency to go to the bookstore, buy as many of her books as they have on the shelf, and then give them away to all our friends. Like Jehovah's Witnesses, but without, you know, the Jehovah part. :)


Leta said...

Cool! Bring 'em on. I certainly am enjoying the other books I've borrowed from you.