Monday, January 28, 2008


I love curling up with a fantastic book,
on the couch, snuggled beneath a throw, all the while,
escaping into someone else's reality.
Because, as you know, my reality right now is disorganized.
So I love to slip into someone else's shoes
and pretend I am tramping about the Welsh hills with its cold clear air
tearing at my lungs as I walk the bracken lined lanes,
or exploring the cobbled alleys of some quaint Italian village on a vespa,
instead of feeling like all of my smudge smeared walls
are closing in on me.
That is the beauty of a book for me. Escape. Travel. Intrigue.
If you talk to me while I am reading, I will not hear you.
I may be vaguely aware of your presence.
I may even hear a slight murmur,
like the whine of a mosquito but I will not recall a single thing that you say.
Jack has taken to calling out to me,
"Mom, are you in there? Are you EVEN in there?"
(No, Jack, sorry to say, you have been emotionally abandoned as your
mother is eating soft pumpkin with Mma Ramotswe
of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency on a covered veranda in Botswana.)
It is a family trait. My mom says she often got in trouble
as a child for getting too caught up in what she was reading.
When my sister, Jenny, gets a new book her husband,
Brett, calls himself a book widower.
Van tries to parcel out books slowly to my sister Erica,
but she sucks them back like a cup of Earl Gray laced with milk and sugar.
Luckily for our husbands we read quickly.
Sometimes we skip entire pages of flowery
description to get to the actual meat of the book.
Of course, then sometimes we miss crucial details like someone dying or
an integral piece of evidence that would lead us to unravel the mystery.
But really, we don't mind, because in a few months we will re-read it and
will be pleasantly surprised to realize
we have retained only minute bits of the story line
and its as if we are reading it again for the first time.
Scott and I took the boys to the library on Saturday
and we came back lugging a treasury of books,
a veritable wealth of things to read.
Berenstain Bears, Junie B., The Boxcar Children,
a handful of picture books,
mysteries for me and an autobiography for Scott.
Will flipped through pages, memorizing pictures,
sounding out letters under his breath.
Addison accosted us with board books,
shoving them into our hands, saying, "Read! Read!"
And I watched as Jack poured through his books, eyes glazed over,
a high red color to his cheeks as he hunkered down on the couch
finishing 3 chapter books in one afternoon.
I was even a little tempted to say,
"Jack, are you in there? Are you EVEN in there?"
But I know the feeling all too well of being sucked into the story.
And all I can say is,"Welcome home, son. Welcome home!"


Kelly @ Love Well said...

Loved this. Love all your posts, actually, although I've been bad about commenting of late.

I, too, suffer from nose-in-the-book syndrome. My Mom used to say the house could collapse around me while I was reading and I wouldn't notice. I'm sure she's right. It's one of the reasons I hardly ever read fiction these days. I can't afford to get lost in a book right now.

Brittanie said...

I love to read as does my mother, aunt, grandmother, cousins, and to a lesser extent my sister. I think out of everybody my grandmother and I read the most. I think reading to children is super important. :)

Jodie said...

I'm a reader too and I loved this! As a reader you always hope so strongly that your children will love to read, too! Great post. :)

PS - I'm a regular here, I visit often b/c I love your blog. :) I got tagged to do a meme on my blog, and since I'm new to the blogging world and don't "know" very many other bloggers, I thought I'd tag you. I hope you'll play along!

emilymr said...

That is me!!! Including the reading so fast that I miss key elements... ;) I love the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency -- it's my new favorite mystery series. :)

Jekissa said...

Sue- I have fond memories of the summer you stayed with us and we stayed up reading in bed every night! I remember being in awe of how fast you could read. :) I still love to read in bed at night, when everyone else in my house is asleep. I need this precious time to keep my sanity!