One of my favorite parts of babysitting is the required reading. The kids are required to read t least twenty minutes a night, which means I also get to read for twenty minutes while I’m there. Usually I stretch it to at least twenty-five or thirty, just because I’m so engrossed in whatever I’m reading that I don’t want to stop to go back to whatever we were doing before reading time started. It’s fascinating watching them read, too. They always fight it at the beginning – ALWAYS. It’s a hardcore struggle to get them to get a book and sit in a chair or couch. They whine, and drag their feet, and attempt to bargain with me about exactly how long they have to read, or try to convince me that they don’t have to read because they totally read at aftercare. But once they see me settle in with my book, they get settled in with theirs, and they get so wrapped up that they don’t hear the timer go off or notice me get up to fix their dinner or hear me call their names when it’s time to eat. They mutter that they’re just going to finish this paragraph or page or chapter because it’s really really good right now and they’ll be there in just a second. Tonight, when I announced it was time for bed, they even both asked if they could sit up in bed and read while they waited for their father to get home. Ploy to stay up past their bedtime or not, it made me ecstatic inside to see them reading of their own volition rather than being forced to it like a dog to the vet. It makes my heart swell with joy, and just a little bit of pride. Both their parents have told me that it makes them really happy that I love to read so much and so openly, because they like having a good role model for the kids. I like to think that me being so into reading has at least a little, tiny bit to do with them getting more and more into it. It makes me eager to have my own kids so I can introduce them to books and read to them and introduce them to all the magical worlds and friends that I so adore. And, oh, yes, I am essentially bouncing up and down in my chair from excitement as I type this. You’re just jealous.
Monthly Archives: February 2013
Am I the only person out there who finds there to be a distinct difference between how I feel while actually reading a book versus thinking about or remembering the story itself? I feel like I’m weird in that some books, which hold the nearest and dearest places in my heart – Lord of the Rings leaps to mind, and The Silmarillion, which I’m currently reading and is the inspiration for this musing – were sort of a mental slog for me. I found it very difficult, whether due to the writing style or something more ethereal – to be drawn into and captivated by much of it. Maybe my reading time was just too choppy, not allowing enough time for me to sink into the LOTR mindset. Whatever it was, the physical act of reading often felt like something I’m forcing myself to get through, sometimes just to say I have. But when I’m not actively reading, I’m obsessed. The story captivates me and the world makes me want to live there and meet the characters. Even The Silmarillion, with its multitude of similarly named characters that are incredibly difficult to keep straight, can set me to daydreaming for hours in the back of my mind. It’s happened a few times before – that actually reading a book makes me want to tear my hair out but then all I want to do when I’m done is go back and read it again – mostly with classics like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (children’s classics I loved even as a child – I could read The Secret Garden over and over and over and never get tired of it). Am I that lazy of a reader, that I only want simple and easy books that hand their plot and excitement over on a silver platter, and these authors are skilled enough to thwart my laziness? Or is it a matter or aesthetics – that I want the beauty handed to me, and these authors make me search for it – after all, Wilde and Fitzgerald and Kerouac are some of my favorites and I never have trouble reading them. Or is this simply something many readers go though, a sense that when you’ve worked for something, it’s even sweeter than when it’s just handed to you? I desperately hope it’s the latter, but based on my experience with other authors, I’m pretty sure it’s one of the former.