Sunday, November 7

Day 7: "She was an avid reader" will not be in my eulogy

Rarely in my lifetime have I finished a book. While many of you can boast a library-full of read novels, I have a three shelved case full of half-read books.

I'm in one book club and have been invited to join another. My goal of completing the requirements for DONA International's birth doula certification involves reading 5 books on subjects from pregnancy, childbirth preparation, to breastfeeding. All topics I'm incredibly interested in. It's the reading part I struggle with.

Am I too short-attention-spanned? Lazy? I'd be lying if I told you I'd rather read than watch tv at night once the kids are in bed. Plus when I do try to read before bed? I last one page, maybe two, before I'm asleep with a book on my chest.

Authors and titles I've enjoyed are Augusten Burroughs "Running with Scissors," "Dry," as well as his collection of short stories "Magical Thinking." I thoroughly enjoyed "The Kite Runner" and Wally Lamb's "She's Come Undone" and "I Know This Much is True." In two days I read "The Lovely Bones." Each of these books finished. COVER TO COVER.

Riveting side note: It is not a coincidence that each of these stories involve oddball, insane, sad, tortured, obscure, inappropriate, foul-mouthed characters.

I can recall a silent reading period in elementary school, my desk shoved against a wall as some form of punishment for laughing, trying to simply get into "Ralph S. Mouse." Seriously. I think specifically about that single experience a lot. And now, although my big kids can read alone AND finish a book, I'm afraid I'm passing on this inability to Egan. He picks out a novel for us to read together and it's months before we finish it. At least we finish it?

Maybe the need for understanding is because I come from a family of avid readers. Then again, that's not the only thing setting me apart from my family. But it's like someone saying, "I just don't like mushrooms." How do they know they don't like mushrooms if they always avoid them? How can I know I'm "not a reader" if I don't try picking up a book from time to time?

EDITOR'S NOTE: The author would like to add Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" to the list of books she has actually finished reading. And has a feeling there will be other titles to include that are not accurately represented herein. Like David Sedaris, Julie. You're right.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Wait... please tell me you've read any/all of David Sedaris's books. They are right up your alley.