Friday, October 23, 2009

What?! You're Not Lost In A Book?!

This morning I got to work early, so I decided to grab coffee, a bagel and do my favorite thing ... read. People are straggling into the coffee shop where I'm reading quietly and they are complaining loudly about the Boston traffic, the weather, their mother-in-law, you name it and I'm at the Santa Anita racetrack on a beautiful spring day, watching the horses get ready to race. Why, because I'm lost in Jane Smiley's Horse Heaven.

The weekend weather features another massive rainstorm and I'm jumping for joy. Why?! Perfect weather for reading! I check my bookshelf for the weekend, be sure it's full and ready, the way many people check the fridge to be sure they have enough beer, salsa and chips for a party weekend.

I jump on my library's website to see if any books I've reserved are ready to pick up. I plan every trip around having the right books with me. I really get upset if I finish a book too early and don't have the next one ready to go.

But worst of all, I can't believe how few people around me take the time to read for pleasure like I do. It is one of life's great pleasures. My neighbor, an avid reader and wise old lady of 11 years of age, loves to read like me. At the beginning of the summer, we both happened to say the exact same thing about the new season -- "Great weather for reading!" and then started laughing since we both know any weather is great weather for reading. If it's too cold to go out, stay in and read so you can visit warm beaches and dig up buried treasure. If it's too hot to go out, stay home and read so you can visit icy Everest with an intrepid team. It's always a good time to read.

Some people chose expensive self-destructive escape methods like drugs, drink, racing fast cars, whatever your poisin. But why aren't people getting lost in books the way I love to? It's so easy to hop on a boat for France with John Adams and his son John Quincy in his bio. Or maybe you'd rather be on a pirate ship in Treasure Island? Or maybe Mona Simpson's Anywhere But Here is your vehicle of choice.

Try it this weekend, get lost in a book. It's a great place to escape. And please don't tell me that old excuse, I just don't have time. Ridiculous! Make the time.