Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Joys of Reading Again

Ever since I was a young student I have been a voracious reader. I remember my mother taking me to the public library and I would bring home a stack of books taller than my head. I would finish those books well before the due date. My mother often teased me about walking around the house with my nose in a book, pouring myself a glass of milk to drink without ever lifting my eyes from the book. I don't remember every book I read, although Judy Blume was a favorite author for awhile. For a few years my all time favorite book was The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. I remember finishing Ivanhoe one year and feeling especially proud of myself.

I still have a tremendous love of books, although the number of books I've read has dropped precipitously since work, six kids, and life have taken over my time. For many years my reading consisted mostly of the daily newspaper and trade magazines - with very small doses of novels every now and then (Harry Potter and Twilight)

A few years ago, after I got my first iPod, I discovered audiobooks. At my previous school I had a 30 minute drive each way. So I started checking out audiobooks from my public library and ripping them to my iPod, listening to them in the car during that hour drive each day. I was able to enjoy books again! I listened to books that I never would have had the time to read: Moby Dick, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Les Miserables, and Dune. I tried authors that I hadn't even heard of before: Phillip Dick, Robert Jordan (still need to listen to the last volume in the Wheel of Time!), John Grisham, Orson Scott Card, H. G. Wells, and Marion Zimmer.

Then I got an iPad. I discovered iBooks and all the free classic books I could ever want! Now I have a to-read list from Henry Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Since my iPad is with me wherever I go, I now have a good book to read at any moment!

But I still feel guilty for not having a stack of books (real, honest-to-goodness, physical books), sitting on my nightstand ready for me to devour. Are audiobooks and iBooks real books? Somehow I need to make the time again to just enjoy reading while doing nothing else. How have you kept up your reading?

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