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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dreaming With My Eyes Open

     I like to read, for me it is like dreaming with my eyes open. I have run across people who don't enjoy reading. I have a hard time understanding this (along with a lot of other things). How could you not enjoy going to places you might never have an opportunity to visit; experiencing a time in history; meeting people you would never have the opportunity to know.

I like fiction and non fiction books and I love libraries. My after school job in high school was working in a library. I was the person who put away the books when they were returned. It probably took me a little longer then it should have because of my need to look at the books that caught my interest, many times taking several home. Whenever I walk into a library I feel such a sense of wonder. Thinking of all the stories, of all the information contained in one building, it is exciting and sad. Exciting because it's all there for anyone to enjoy; sad because I know I'll never be able to read them all.

     I'm not a particularly fast reader. But faster then I would be if my 7th grade English teacher hadn't helped me. She suggested I take a special reading class that would help me increase my speed but also retain my comprehension. The class did wonders for me and increased my enjoyment of reading. As you can see from the following photo I've been reading up a storm ever since.

     Most of the books are nonfiction. But I do have a fair number of fiction also. I try to go through them periodically and get rid of some. If you're a book lover you can understand how hard this can be. I always donate to our local library. 
     Back in 1972 I wondered how many books I actually do read in a year. So just for fun I started keeping a list. Well here I am over 40 years later and still keeping track of my reading. What started out as a short investigation turned into a habit. I write down the title, author and whether fiction or nonfiction. As of the end of 2015 I've read 1,785 books. I've had a year where I only read 14 and one with 77 read. Of course the amount is influenced by the type of book and what is going on in my life at the time. The year with only 14 included three very long and more difficult books. The year with 77 included easy short books. But I seem to average 40 to 50 a year. 

     It is interesting to look back and see the different types of books I've read over the years and how my interests have changed. In fiction I've read all of Jane Austin and also a number of other classics like Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment. Other authors include: Gustave Flaubert, Herman Hesse, D.H. Lawrence, John Steinbeck, Voltaire, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, just to name a few. But I've also read a lot of what might be considered lighter reading such as mysteries (love Agatha Christie), historical romances and such. My nonfiction reading covers a wide range of topics including biographies. Really whatever catches my interest. 

     P.G. Wodehouse is one of my all time favorite authors. These are just three of his books of the over 60 that I own. For just sheer fun and the joy of reading such wonderful use of language, he is a must read. I've read several more then once. 
     Now days we have electronic devices for reading books. I have one myself, which I really like for travel. You can download books from many sources.  If you don't already know about this site try: Book Bub. They offer downloadable books for free or very inexpensive. As much as I like my Kindle, there is still something about holding a real book in my hands that is very satisfying. 

     I just finished reading "The Casual Vacancy". A very good book with well developed characters. I've read all her Harry Potter books, this is nothing like them. It is a very well written modern day story. Give it a try.

    I have a lot of quotes in this post but I still need to add one more.

A thought to ponder: "Whatever the cost of our libraries the price is cheap                                             compared to that of an ignorant nation."                                                                                                         Walter Cronkite

Participating in: Grand SocialShare the JoySeasonsAmaze me MondayShare Your Cup


  1. Was smiling along the way reading your article:) During elementary school I ready five children's books of over a hundred pages a week. They stimulated my imagination and inspiration. During my teens it got "worse."

    In short, also had a speed reading class to read English faster (because I'm Dutch). But my doctoral dissertation changed everything. After that huge hurdle, I didn't touch a book for two years. Now, I read more the "how to" books and magazines. No screen for me:)
    Many thanks for sharing about your love and adding it to SEASONS! Have a happy redding-books-week and "see' you very soon!

  2. Oh my gosh...I am so impressed with all of your books. I use to read a lot and wish I would have kept mine. It is interesting to think about the different kinds we have read over the years.

  3. I loved reading this post.

    My husband and I are avid readers and have spent all of our lives with our faces in books. Our son is also an avid reader and he recently married another reader. The theme for their wedding was books and rather than numbers, the tables were assigned by book titles.

  4. enjoyed your post today. Books are my favorite thing too. Ever since I was a little girl I have been enthralled with libraries and books. Thanks for this wonderful post.

  5. Oh girl, you have written my heart! I could be you. Or, perhaps you could be me. As I say, I'd rather read than eat when I'm hungry. The day I learned to read (as in, it all came together and I took off reading) was the best day of my life. Well, maybe only second to meeting my husband. Since my children are older (as am I), I've had time to read more than ever. Like you, for several years I kept a list of everything I read. I average 125 a year, and like you, various genres. I was never aware of this but my husband has brought to my attention that I'm a speed reader, though it's not something I worked on or aspired to. It's just that when I'm in a book, I'm all the way in it and I roll through it, often giving up sleep in order to keep reading. So I love this post, I love your heart, I love your books!!! (I rarely keep a book, and now nearly all I read comes from the library. Again, like you, I prefer a book in my hands though my Kindle does come in handy sometimes. And the library is my home away from home. All those books - free!!! This year I'm focusing mainly on biographies and I have met some truly fascinating people! And been to some amazing places. Oh what joy. Thanks for sharing at Art & Sand and congrats on the feature.


    1. Mary, thanks for stopping by and reading all my posts!! It's always nice to hear other peoples take on a subject. Some subjects seem to resonate more then others. I think the ones that bring back good memories are the best. Take care.

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