Reading by Flashlight

As a kid I read a lot. Reading was my escape, and though my life had nothing terrible to elude, I reveled in the access to other worlds that written words provided. I devoured places more interesting to visit than the mundane normal ones where I resided.
I read everything.
When I was about eight years old I got busted reading under my covers with a flashlight. It was hours past bedtime. I’d been doing it for months because there were so many stories to read and too many hours of sleeping time. My folks must have been torn about taking away the flashlight because I was…reading, and of course they wanted to encourage that behavior. Mom still laughs about the memory.
In fact, I was such a voracious reader I often ran out of new things to read. I finished the encyclopedias on my parent’s bookshelf before I completed elementary school (this explains the bulging amount of cocktail trivia bubbling in my head). Mom took me to the library so often, even thirty years later I could unerringly find my way to the shelves where my favorites lived. There’s one book in particular I still regret not absconding with – so much that I returned after college to contemplate the nefarious deed and discovered someone had whisked it away before my arrival. Bastard.

Opportunistic should my reader tagline.
The dictionary drew my interest in high school because the idea of becoming a professional writer pawed the ground about then. This is a woefully underrated activity. Besides words, definitions and etymological distinctions, dictionaries are filled with bounty I highly recommend. Even now, when I see a set of the Oxford English Dictionary, I salivate. Truly. Pavlov is surely proud.
I’ve been known to swipe paperbacks out of motel lobbies and mail them back after I finish. I once shipped a cache of replacement novels to a motel in Coeur d’Alene because their selection was so poor. Sharing the wealth…
What sets your reader antenna to twitching? Ever snag a book that wasn’t yours? Confess…how much do you still owe the lending library?


  1. #1 by Kristal Lee on August 8, 2011 - 5:35 pm

    I used to get busted all the time. My eyes got so used to reading in poor light that I can read by candlelight if I need to.

  2. #2 by Angela Orlowski-Peart on August 8, 2011 - 6:20 pm

    I loved reading ever since I've learned how to read myself. There were always books in my house. And now my children share that love – they often grab a book instead of asking for a TV or a computer time!

  3. #3 by Lesann Berry on August 8, 2011 - 7:19 pm

    I wish I could read in dim light, but nowadays glasses are a part of my existence. My eye doctor laughed at me – I made it two years past her prediction. My first love is reading, but my husband's is movies so we do that together. My son likes stories to be told, he can't sit still long enough for books. Unless I chase him around the room reading aloud, our best bet is nighttime. We've read the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at least 100 times!

  4. #4 by on August 8, 2011 - 9:25 pm

    Oh, I totally remember getting busted reading under the covers. My mom was also torn with what to do. Finally we made a deal: If I got up without drama, I could read all night. I often did. :)Great post. Elena

  5. #5 by Angela Wallace on August 8, 2011 - 11:31 pm

    Lol. "Borrowing" books and then mailing them back? That's a new one on me. :-PI never read under the covers with a flashlight. I was too busy acting out stories on my bed and then slamming into my pillow when my parents came to check on me. But I was a fiendish reader (still am). Scholastic offered prizes to kids who read so many books. Most of the prizes were posters, and my walls were covered with them.

  6. #6 by Tameri Etherton on August 9, 2011 - 4:09 am

    Did I ever swipe a book? Once, on accident. I lived in London for a time and borrowed books from the local library almost every day. When I returned home, I found one of their books among my stuff. I was mortified, but couldn't afford to mail it back.Years later I returned to London and sought out the library to pay for the book, but it was closed down. Probably because of me and my negligence.

  7. #7 by Lesann Berry on August 22, 2011 - 5:35 pm

    I'm not sure you should take on the responsibility for shutting down an entire library with one "gone missing" book. Unless it was some enormously important book – like I dunno – the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Intergalactic Expressways and all…now that could happen.

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