Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How to Kill a Reading Habit

You would not think a reader such as I could get out of the habit. You would not think anything could come between me and that feeling of turning the next page, eager to see what might happen to the nearly-blind boy who cocks his head at the shadows standing before him. You'd think I would love an author who planted me right there in that West Virginia town where I could feel the charge in the air of the oncoming storm, where I could taste the slice of birthday cake, where I could sit in on the arguments during a slow afternoon at the town diner.

But I don't know. A lot got in the way.

Busy life, maybe? Don't tell me I'm not all that busy compared to you. I already know it. Still, life has me by the tail. Every time I turn around, the laundry/dishes/groceries that just got done have to be done again. And people must be listened to and not ignored in favor of finding out what happened in some fictional West Virginia town.

Too much excitement killed the reading, maybe? Who needs book romance when we've got the real thing going on right under our noses, and the party in question appears on Facebook, where I can check out his mission pictures, his last birthday cake, his goofball friends. Don't make me admit how much time I spend at this--oh my!

And speaking of drama, what can I care about some half-blind boy when very real drama escalates all around me? We're talking election time, people. I like my guy, but does anybody else like him? Do enough anybody elses like him? Instead of opening some library book, I'm staring at my favorite news magazines and political blogs.

And speaking of blogs, I'm addicted to them. If the choice is between the nearly-blind boy and what Mormons think of the new missionary ages, I'm over at the place where Mormon moms and dads are saying, "Wow, this changes everything."

Yep, blogs are a big culprit. They are like intravenous feeding, a constant supply of new and interesting information. Except when there are no new posts. And then it's like "Whaa? Where's my instant gratification???" When I get in this state, it's hard to remember that I already have something to read. It's called a book, remember?

So I just kept putting off the nearly-blind boy until the library wanted the book back. Not to worry though, his story was available through electronic checkout. There it was, on my phone, easy reading to take along while the pharmacy counted my pills, not to mention how handy it was when the husband wanted the bedroom lights off for the night. But somehow, electronic reading never felt as urgent as a real book that had to be driven back to the return slot.

But what finally killed it off was a long and detailed cow patty that just wouldn't let up. It circled round and round poetically, as if we couldn't get the point that the neighbor kid has been hankering for the nearly-blind boy's sister all these years. Really, just send them behind the garage, leaving out all the anatomical details thank you, and we'll get the picture, yes we will.

I think what we had on our hands here was simply a dull book. Yep, that'll kill off a reading habit.

Since discarding this lemon, I've read two more books in less than a week. One was only a middling challenge to work through and the other, I couldn't leave alone. It kept me up late last night, leaving me an addled, unproductive mess today. Oh, but it was worth it.

Now, being addled and unproductive, the only thing I could manage to cook today was Hot Spiced Cider. I had bigger ambitions, but too bad for them.

I never found orange extract or whole allspice, but it hardly mattered because a certain young fellow at my house tonight loved this stuff, and it's been hard to get him to eat anything but candy or chips for months now.

We'll talk about those two books next time. But gotta get to bed now, so tomorrow is not such a loser day like today was.