Friday, June 6, 2008

Summer reading

There's a girl in Joey's sixth-grade (now seventh-grade) class who is only seldom seen without a book clutched in one hand. Her friends have to say everything to her at least twice before she looks up, blinking, from her current read and says "Huh?" About the only trouble she ever gets into in class is when she's got a not-a-textbook hidden on her lap and is reading instead of paying attention.

I can relate--that was me. Growing up, one of my very favorite places in the whole world (maybe THE favorite) was the library. To this day, I find the air conditioned hush and the scent of old and new pages inspires a deep sense of comfort that you only find in familiar places--even if the library is one I've never set foot in before. And yet beneath that comfort is the anticipatory tingle of maybe discovering your next favorite story each time you lift a book from the shelf.

I stopped being such an avid reader for a number of years. I could blame raising kids or home schooling or even writing, but the biggest consumer of the time and interest I'd previously devoted to books was an assortment of MMORPG's. I don't necessarily view the time I've spent/spend gaming as lost time--there are friendships I've cultivated and things I've learned about myself and writing and creativity in general that I wouldn't have if not for those games and the communities that grow up around them. But I've recently renewed my interest in reading, and discovered two things:

1. I really missed it.


And in the meantime, a conversation with friends about books last night culminated in a Robert R. McCammon lovefest. And then this. My McCammon-senses were tingling after the conversation, but the blog entry put the nails in the coffin. I will be at the library over the weekend, stocking up on books I haven't re-read in way too many years. They will all have Mr. McCammon's picture on the jacket.

On a side note, when I was younger I often heard it said that the oldest child was normally the heavy reader and the younger one(s) were often not interested in reading at all. My own siblings and I certainly followed that pattern, as does my husband's family. I am delighted to prove us all wrong and break the pattern--Joey is definitely a reader, but Michael is, too. Yes, I enforce a summer daily reading time, but of the two of them, I find Michael complains less and reads more during those times. In the two weeks since they've been out for summer, Joey has worked his way through most of The Once and Future King, while I was reading part two of To Green Angel Tower. Michael?

Victory (Cooper), The Alchemyst (Michael Scott), The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Cleary), and a retelling of The Odyssey (McCaughrean). Two weeks, four books, over 800 pages. He's ten.

I'm not complaining.

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