February 12, 2010

I Read a Book!

True confessions - I'm not a book reader.  I know, shocker, right?  I used to love the newspaper, but could not allot time each day to read it, so we got rid of our delivery service and now buy it only when there is something special happening - like Black Friday Sales.  The only magazines I read these days are parenting mags, and that's not a bad thing.  (Okay, you caught me.  I read Better Homes and Gardens for decorating ideas and a variety of good recipes!)

Books on the other hand...  Books intimidate me.  A newspaper is not daunting - you can read a section or two and toss recycle compost it.  Bonus if I get started on the crossword and don't get too frustrated to quit after a few words.  Magazines are great because they are very short term, we even have a system in our house.  (I'm all about routine these days, what can I say?)
  • 15th - Magazine for next month arrives - glance through
  • 1st - read through the articles that look good, glance through recipes
  • 15th - read the rest that are mildly appealing - read recipes and mark those we want to try
  • 30/31/28th - cut out recipes that warrant taste testing and recycle the magazine (since we have the next issue in hand!)
But books.  Wow.  200+ pages all staring you in the face.  The words on those pages might be exactly what your brain needs, what your psyche needs, what you need to escape from reality for a while.  But to put so many words in order to get to that place of want or need, that's where it gets hard for me.

I have never been a good book reader, either.  It's a trait that I hope Abby does not pick up on.  Part of the reason I read this particular book from cover to cover, so that she saw me reading for me, not just for her.  I want her to want to read - to read for fun and to not feel like when someone says in a staff meeting "I think we should all read this book" that she needs to run and hide because the reality is she will not make time or energy for it.

Part of the blame I place squarely on... just kidding.  I had great role models in reading - I grew up surrounded by books of all shapes and sizes.  A lot of those books still reside in my basement - everything from Gone With the Wind to The Handyman's Guide To (fill in the blank - we have them all), from Animal Farm to Biblical Studies.  In every age of school I was encouraged, even required to read everything from biographies to plays.  I've just never been able to get excited about it for more than a book at a time.

And I've come to realize that it's okay.

I have trouble keeping up with fiction and all of the characters.  I guess that I'm too literal of a person, or something like that.  I really liked Cry the Beloved Country for the plot line, but could not keep the characters separated from one another.  I had the same issues with most fictional books I've read.  The only reason that I had desire to read Courage Under Fire (good book, kept my attention.) was because I told myself I could not see the movie unless I read the book.  Yup, a movie was motivation enough for me to read the book.

Non-Fiction seems to be the best route for me when I read, and I'm finding that books categorized mostly as "self help" are where I can get excited.  Goes back to the "too practical" statement earlier.  The last book I read was in the spring of 2007, before Abby was born.  It was about pregnancy from a Dads perspective, and also covered the first six months or so of being a parent.  Good stuff.  Helped to calm me about the "what ifs" as we faced the final months of pregnancy and first few months of parenting.  (Yes, I said "we" and "pregnancy" in the same sentence.  I didn't push a child out, but I dealt with just about everything else, so it's a "we" thing.  Get over it.)

The book that I have just finished is of a similar vain - really applicable to me not just in the short term, but in the long run as well.  I'll review the book in the next week, but for me it's important to write down how I got to this point, and why reading a book is significant for me.

That is all.

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