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?