Lost in a book, the one place he won’t follow me

This weekend, I read a novel cover to cover.  It was no small feat because of the holiday. You would think that I’d have unlimited reading time, but with the cooking and the chatting, and the cleanup and the chatting, I didn’t have much free time.

This book may not even be as great as the experience of reading it. Please, give me a few more minutes. One more page, one more chapter. I love the feeling of seeing through the character’s eyes, knowing action is inevitable, and that a terrible mistake will create enough fallout to keep me begging to keep the light on a little longer.  It’s vacation. We’ll sleep late.

It came along at the right moment.  I just finished a draft of  my novel. When I read a mediocre book, I can’t help but think, my writing is better than this crap. But it’s weekends like this past on that really inspire me to write better. I want someone to feel the same way about one of my books someday.  The only way I will ever get there is to write, and write some more. Read, learn and revise.

My son doesn’t enjoy reading. He says it feels like work. I don’t question how much time the school expects the kids to spend reading. I do question, however, how they have the kids spend reading time. They plow through college textbooks at a rapid-fire pace. Where I see a great book as a dessert after a healthy meal, he sees it as more food on top of an already stretched stomach. It’s like eating Five Guys after Thanksgiving. As much as he might love the burger, he’s so full it doesn’t even sound good anymore.

I wish he liked reading more. I suspect he may never feel that way. Curling up with a book is not his idea of decompression. He’d rather blow off steam by doing something that annoys me. Such pleasure is hard to top. When he really pushes me over the edge (usually with endless hours of throwing a ball against the wall under my office, creative a rhythmic thump that gives me a headache no matter what music I hum to the cadence), I’ll make a cup of tea, find one of my cats, dig into a good book, and make time disappear. Like Jello, there’s always room for that.

Words by J. B. Everett

Photograph by Horia Varlan © 2008 Creative Commons

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3 comments on “Lost in a book, the one place he won’t follow me

  1. I love being able to read a book in a weekend. It tells you so much about what sort of weekend it must have been. I can relate to your son, too, though. When I’m studying for finals, sitting down to read is the last thing I want to do after having spent all day with my nose on the pages. I need something else that feels as productive instead. Still looking…

    • When you find it, please let me know. His throwing-the-ball-against-the-wall thing really does give me a headache. I keep hoping someday my son will find an author that sends his imagination soaring. Books and writing will always be my greatest escape.

  2. Yet somehow —- without benefit of filling out reading logs —- I am a serious reader today. I usually download a new book to my Kindle within minutes of reading the previous book’s epilogue. I developed a love for reading —- for Carl Hiaasen, specifically —- while on a Windjammer cruise in my twenties. I’m not convinced that every kid needs to develop a love of reading as a kid.

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