Which activities make you lose track of time?

Haven’t written in a while. I actually had wanted to make a video blog for this post, and was waiting for a good hair day. Then I got very upset at the amount of time that passed between good hair days. Then I decided I didn’t want to do a video blog any more, and my original topic doesn’t really lend itself to written form. My first topic was going to be TALKING. I’m a talker. I talk ALL the time, at great length and with little self editing. I should probably learn to rein it in.

My second topic is probably actually my first, in that it pre-dates my love of talking. I was actually a pretty quiet child, residual from a speech defect I had in my early years, and grew up in the countryside. I learned to read at a young age – by three I could read pretty fluently – and my parents love to tell stories about me reading the back of the tomato ketchup bottle at the dinner table. Reading became a passion of mine, and I spent countless hours holed up in my bedroom letting favourite characters wander around my head. I was the generation before Harry Potter (although I love them), and read the real classics like A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, and Lord of the Rings on repeat like my dear husband plays records. I still know whole chapters of Wuthering Heights by heart, and even had a reading from that book – my personal favourite – at my wedding. I’ve never been able to resist of charms of a sulky heroine, or flawed hero, and am trained in the art of super-fast reading. I read the whole of the last Harry Potter book in eight hours. Sometimes, you just need to know what happens.

As I’ve mentioned, my college degree was in writing and literature. In a way, it killed my love of reading for a while. Many lit students will bemoan the same terrible fate, that beingrequired to read so many books takes the joy out of it. My complaint is not the same – I didn’t find reading the books hard, I just hated the lack of choice that my college course offered. Never really one to study the set texts (I was the girl that sat at the front of the class and wailed “but Miss, I’ve already READ this book” when they handed out our syllabus), I wanted the freedom to choose what I read, to make the wild leaps and walk down the crazy avenues. I chose a college that I thought would encourage my choices, and was sorely mistaken. I’m still bitter, if you can’t tell. I still can’t see a copy of On The Road without dying a little inside.

But you know, I’m many years out of college now. I have read reasonably consistently, although truthfully my time in front of the TV or computer has taken up the majority of my free time. I’ve found it hard to re-capture the just-sitting-still-and-enjoying-the-moment part of reading, but it’s coming slowly. My biggest help has been my recent “treat” – an amazon kindle fire. I have read 10 fiction books in the last month, swallowing the pages whole. None of them have been particularly ground breaking in anything other than the fact that I have read them cover to cover, but I have enjoyed every single one. I have discovered the joy of feeling a character develop at my fingertips, the roof of my mouth, settling on my hair; and felt the sadness as I read the last page and feel them slip away. It’s a beautiful cycle, and my heart has started to beat with the same ache it always had – the ache for a wonderful, literary life doing marvelous things and having adventures. It’s another part of myself that I’ve reclaimed, or am reclaiming, day by day!

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