January 7, 2015

I love to read. I try to read every night even if it’s just a page or two, though more often than not I get lost in whatever book I’m reading and waking up in the middle of the night, having rolled over onto my tablet or book. I favor mysteries, especially international crime thrillers, but I like to mix it up with novels and short stories, and the occasional bit of non-fiction.

As I’ve written previously, my dad kept journals of his readings. I have one of his handwritten little notebooks detailing the readings of 1968. It’s something I treasure. I often think about doing the same thing but then I move on to the next book without recording anything about the last. Perhaps this year I’ll attempt to document my reading. It would be fun to look back at the list several years later and be reminded of where I got lost in 2015.

I’m currently reading The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. It’s set in 1922 in England, post WWI. A formerly privileged widow and her unmarried twenty something daughter, finding themselves without means, have to take in tenants to keep their home. The tenants, a young married couple, change their lives, especially that of Frances, the daughter, in compelling ways. I’m only half way through and am enjoying it. I am, of course, looking for the thriller element, even where it doesn’t exist.

I have a tendency to build upon my readings in my head whilst reading. I imagine where the story might be heading and sometimes I’m right. Sometimes I’m not. I have a tendency to devour series and as I grow more familiar with both the author and the main characters, I can often take the journey one step ahead of the book. It doesn’t spoil it for me. It actually makes me feel more a part of the investigation or story.

I love to read with Cole too. I’m not great at voices but I sometimes try to give accents to characters or different intonations or inflections. He’s forgiving and when we find a book he likes, he’s a great partner and listener. I wish he could find it in himself to get lost in books the way I did when I was young. He’s got limited options for independent time, in the house, or in his room and reading would be my first choice for him. He can listen to books on Audible, or read on his tablet, using his eyes to turn pages, but he’s not embraced the escape of a good book. It’s my dream that he will one day understand the magic of a well told story.

November 8, 2014

Reading and writing are both passions of mine. I grew up in a house where there were lots of books and voracious readers. My dad devoured books. He kept handwritten lists of the books he read each year which eventually were maintained electronically. I have one of the old handwritten notebooks with his lists from the late ‘60’s, but don’t know what became of the later lists. He would read several books a week.

He instilled a love of reading in me from an early age. When my brother and I were still young enough to be wearing Sears Winnie the Pooh footed PJ’s he read The Hobbit to us over the span of a couple of weeks, delighting us with voices and invoking our imaginations to see the magical world.

My mom shared her Salinger books with me and I loved knowing that the books I read were first read by her. Franny & Zoe became a beloved treasure. I still have her old editions, as well as my dad’s worn paperback of 100 Years of Solitude, which I’ve read each decade of my life. His copy now resides next to a hand inscribed edition that Gabriel Marquez Garcia gifted me. Both are precious.

My husband and I have tried to instill a love of reading in Cole. While he has enjoyed being read to all of his life, I’m not sure how passionate he feels about reading. We’ve not been able to quantify his reading ability. We know he is capable of reading and we observe him recognizing words. I sometimes try to read the wrong things in our nightly reading and he does correct me. But just how well he reads is uncertain. I’d love him to have reading as an escape, though I think part of his enjoyment from reading comes from the shared experience of us reading with him. I hope that his passion will grow as he matures.

I dream of one day writing a novel. I have several that I’ve started, and left hanging. I’ve thus far not been able to complete the journey. My dad also started writing several books. The skeletons are stored somewhere. Sometime after he died I thought I’d like to try to finish writing one of his books but I think our voices are different and I would disservice his intention. Better to focus on my own endeavors.

One step I’ve determined to be supportive of the dream is this blog. The discipline of writing something (almost) daily has proven to be good practice. I find the more I write, the more inspired I am to write, and the more confident I feel about my writing and my voice. My hope is that I can channel the inspiration and discipline into something special, even if it’s just special to me.