Tag Archives: reading

Slump

imagesI’m not reading much lately. This is disturbing. I have always defined myself as a reader, so if I’m not reading, what am I? (Okay, don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question, but you know what I mean.)

It’s not that I don’t have time. Sometimes I don’t, true, but generally I am able to find half an hour a day minimum to pick up a book or magazine and read it. I’m a fast reader. I’m an efficient reader. I really like to read. Why can I not find the time now?

I seem to have lost interest in reading. I haven’t been to the library for months. My daily newspaper often goes unread after a cursory examination in the morning as I eat my breakfast yoghurt and fruit. The monthly arrival of my Marie-Claire magazine from France doesn’t excite me as it used to, and right now there are two months worth of Marie-Claires sitting on my bedside table, all forlorn and unread. This is unusual behaviour for me.

I just don’t understand. How can I not want to read??? There’s nothing particularly stressful happening in my life right now that could be overwhelming me and occupying my every waking moment. I’m living in my head just as much as I ever did, thinking and pondering and reflecting about the minutae of my life as usual. But I’m not thinking about reading.

Even the reading I’m supposed to do for work has fallen by the wayside. Fortunately, that’s not affecting my teaching very much right now. It’s May, after all, and there’s not a whole lot of new information that I am expected to be familiar with at this time of year. But even the small amount that I do have to read, I’ve only given it a quick once-over. And left it all in a gradually increasing pile on my desk. I rearrange the pile a couple of times a week, but I do not actually sit down to read and absorb anything in it. Some example for my students, aren’t I – and I’m supposed to be a bit of a reading specialist!

The weather can’t be a contributing factor to my non-reading either: it’s not been consistently Spring-like around here this year. Some warm, sunny days, yes, but more rainy, cloudy, cool days. Exactly the kind of days where I used to love to curl up with a favourite book – but I haven’t done that.

About the only thing I’m reading is email and blogs, and I think that’s only because they’re short, sweet, and I can click them on and off at a whim. And I must confess that if one of my favourite blogs has a post that I deem too long, I stop reading. And sometimes lately “too long” is more than three paragraphs. How lame is that???

Has anybody else ever experienced this sudden lack of will to read? Has anybody got any bright ideas to help get me enjoying reading again? This non-reading stuff isn’t me, it’s somebody else. Help me find myself again!

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Don’t mess with me

Last night I got home about 11 p.m., had a shower, and went to bed with a book.  (Exciting information, I know, but bear with me.)  The book wasn’t high literature, more like a slightly more sophisticated Harlequin romance, but I just couldn’t put it down.  As a consequence, I was still wide awake at 1 a.m. when I heard all the noise outside.

There was a group of teenagers milling about on the street outside my bedroom window, drinking and yelling.  Not that I’m a prude or anything, but I’ve never heard the “f” word used so frequently in so many different connotations.  One of the guys and his girlfriend were having an extremely  spirited argument. Car doors were slamming, music was blaring off and on, and the occasional glass bottle was crashing to the street.

By 2 a.m., I’d had enough.  Not that I wanted to sleep, but I just wanted the noise to stop so I could concentrate on my romance novel and find out if Colette would, in fact, tell Christian that she was pregnant with his child and if Christian was, in fact, smuggling illegal aliens into the country.

So I called the cops.  I have never done this before.  I have threatened to do so, have regretted not doing so, but have never actually picked up the phone and punched those numbers in.  I didn’t think I should call 911, because it wasn’t strictly an emergency, so I had to hunt down the non-emergency number in the phone book (which I also had to hunt down.  I don’t use it very often, apparently.).

As I was describing the situation to the understanding woman who answered my call, I could hear that the noise outside was diminishing.  As she was telling me that a call regarding the situation had already been received and that a police car would be cruising by as soon as possible, I realized that the noise outside had completely stopped.  I got off the phone and peeked outside.  No one.  Nothing.  Every single one of those drunken kids had disappeared, leaving no trace of themselves.

Wow, I thought.  One phone call from me and people vanish.  Who knew I had this power?  I must remember to only use it for good.

Booked

I was in Chapters this afternoon, browsing and losing Porsche Guy (who, whenever he couldn’t see me, phoned me.  It got embarrassing after a while!).  I love to read, so Chapters is one of my favourite places to spend a couple of hours.  But I couldn’t get out of there fast enough today.

I was looking at calendars (yes, the 2009 calendars are already displayed.  Christmas shopping anyone?) and lamenting the fact that there didn’t appear to be any poodle calendars.  Poodles are my preferred dogs at the moment, but they have to be the standard size ones, not those wimpy toys or teacups.  PG got me a standard poodle calendar a few years ago, so he started telling me how hard that calendar had been for him to find, that he had finally discovered it in a pet shop, and that maybe I should go for a calendar of a smaller dog, like a Westie.  No, I said, I liked poodles.

Suddenly, a Chapters employee magically appeared beside me, offering the comment that perhaps a toy poodle might be more to my liking.  Being a person who generally responds when spoken to, I told him that I really preferred the bigger dogs, not the ones that one can carry in one’s purse.  Well, he replied, what about a poodle cross?  After all, breeders cross poodles with all kinds of dogs because poodles are so smart and the intelligence of the resulting puppies would be increased.  Like a Labradoodle?  said I.  Yes, said he, though Labs are pretty smart on their own.  He then wrote down for me the name of a program to google on YouTube where I could learn all about training dogs properly.  I thanked him and was just about to take my leave when…

He segued into, “Are you looking for anything in particular?”  I answered the standard, “Not really, just browsing.”  I moved away slightly.

Apparently, that wasn’t good enough.  He proceeded to show me the “best” table to browse at, and to show me his own personal choice for The Best Book Evar.  Still being nice, I asked him why it was so good, to which he proclaimed, “Because it changed my life!”

Time to leave…but no.  He continued on, explaining exactly how the book changed his outlook on life, reading aloud several passages and asking me to read a few others to myself.  At one point I commented that this book seemed to be a reaction against the 90s, the Me Decade.  He replied, quite seriously, “Absolutely! This book was written in the nineties, and people always have a really strong reaction to it.  I’ve lent it out to so many of my friends!”

He was actually waving the book in my face by then, and I didn’t know quite what to do.  Fortunately, another Chapters customer had been listening to part of this conversation, and she stepped up then with a scowl on her face and said, “Get it from the library if you want to read it.  I only got to page 50 of it.  The author had made his point by then and I couldn’t stand him going on and on about it!”

The Chapters employee gleefully turned to her.  “Yes!  Everybody has such a strong reaction!  You either love it or hate it!”

They exchanged a few more words about their differing opinions of the book, so I grabbed PG’s arm and said quietly, “I have to get out of here right now.”  

Now, I’m impressed that Chapters hired someone who is so passionate about books, who goes out of his way to tell customers about books that he thinks they may enjoy.  But a transition from standard poodles to life-changing philosophy?  That I can’t quite follow.  And I don’t remember the name of the book.