September 23, 2014

I Am a Reader

I have read 46 books this year. I have a goal to read 100. I’m not setting the world on fire, in regards to reading books these days because I have other demands of my time. Often, when I talk about books people often say that they don’t know how I find the time to read or that they wish they could find the time to read.

For me, finding the time is easy because I am a reader.

Being a reader is the one description of myself that I have carried the longest. Who we are, to ourselves, changes a lot over the years. Of course, I’m still blonde (well, mostly. I’m the color that a true blonde’s hair turns as they get older so now I’m something like ash blonde with some roots) and I still have green eyes. I’m still short in stature and chubby in width. But, once you remove the physical descriptors (things that don’t change much) you usually don’t have a lot of the tags on you that you adopted when you were young.

But, I am still a reader.

I was a reader at six when I finally was able to read to myself instead of relying on others or making up my own story.

I was a reader at 8 when I read a book and then read it again and then read it again (and again and again. Oh, Ramona Quimby, Age 8 I knew you inside and out).

I was a reader at 9 when I got collections of books for Christmas and read them all before Boxing Day.

I was a reader at 10 when I tackled Gone with the Wind over summer vacation.

I was a reader at 12 when I would pedal the back roads to the little white library and check out a bag of books that I would read in a week and then return so I could check out more.

I’ve been a reader every single year I can remember and I find time to read books because, well, it’s who I am.

My tastes have changed over the years. I imagine I don’t like much of the same things I liked when I was six save books and cats. My reading tastes have changed, too. Little House on the Prairie and then Trixie Belden (but never Nancy Drew). Lurlene McDaniel’s romantic tragedies and V.C. Andrews. I’ve read Stephen King and John Saul and Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts. I’ve read Anna Quindlin and Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve read books from the best seller list, I’ve read smut (actually, I read a lot of smut from 16-18). I’ve read trash. I’ve read things that were so beautiful, I couldn’t help but cry.

I’ve read things so horrible, I couldn’t help but cry.

I’ve read things so frustrating that I’ve slammed the book shut and walked away.

I’ve had words collected into sentences and paragraphs that have touched me through every stage of my life. I’ve written those passages longhand and then typed them out and now highlight and press share. I’ve changed as a reader, but I’ve never stopped being one.

How do I find the time? How do I not? As runners run and writers write and people who are movie people find time to watch their movies and indulge their passion, I read. I can’t not. It’s simply who I am. It is the one thing I didn’t throw over when I became a new mother and it’s the one thing that depression and anxiety haven’t taken from me; the joy of sinking into a book. It is one of my most simple and abundant joys. I hope it always is.

I am a reader.

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Jamie

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2 thoughts on “I Am a Reader

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    I was also reading a lot when I was younger. Then, after my 2 daughters were born, I lost it a little. I’ve been getting around with the latest Kindle. Thanks for the September reads, I had some of those on my to-read-list for years; now I’ll motivate myself and read them.

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