I love to read. We have walls of books, boxes of them in storage, and the requisite discount cards at Barnes & Noble and Borders. I can spend hours browsing in the Strand, flipping through art books or scanning the spines on the shelves. I've got half a dozen magazine subscriptions, and carry four to five magazines with me almost everywhere I go. It is one of my deepest hopes that I pass along a love of learning and literature (not just Good Night, Gorilla) to Cheeky.
There's one problem. I am a slooooooow reader. Moraines form while I read.
I'll get halfway through a page and go back to reread it because my brain skipped the light fandango and started thinking about spackle or Enter the Dragon. Or I’ll find some shiny object that distracts me for days at a time. Or I'll put my head on the pillow after which the 30 second countdown begins before I’m in deep REM. Not even Jack Bauer can stop that countdown, no matter how loud he yells at me.
Right now I'm really in a rut, because in March I started the Pillars of the Earth. SIX months ago. If you haven't read it (or aren't able to lift it) it involves the building of a cathedral in medieval Britain and the lives and politics of the people involved. I guess it’s sort of a classic, and I like it. EXCEPT THAT IT'S GIANT!
I just checked the last page, and in the upper right-hand corner I’m pretty sure it says "page 50 gazillion." (could be wrong…not wearin’ my glasses) I don't work out enough to carry this thing around! Here's an untouched photograph of me standing next to it.
I have to go outside to read it, because it doesn't fit in our house.
I happened to get a shot of the truck Amazon used to bring it to me, too, in case you need some perspective...
I can't exactly bring it on work trips because it pushes my luggage over airline weight limits. Setting it on my lap cuts off circulation to my extremities. And holding it with one hand while clutching desperately to the sweaty, slimy poles in the subway demands coordination that my midget hands can’t muster.
I've got several great books waiting in the wings, calling out to me with their flashy spines and their svelte, streamlined look. But I LIKE this book. I've invested in it. And damnit, I'm no quitter.
So I trudge along, pushing my dolly from room to room, turning pages at the same rate the author wrote them. Once I'm done, it's nothing but pamphlets and brochures for a couple of months. The guys from Jehovah's Witnesses will be thrilled...