25 March 2011

Blogging - Prompt 6 ...

I wish I had more time to read.

I've loved books for as long as I can remember.  From those dim days of the past when I would crawl onto my father's lap and ask him to read "just one more".  I devoured everything I could get my hands on, reading late into the night under the bed covers by flashlight long after my mother had told me to turn out the light and get some sleep.  The school librarian was my best friend - I'd take home piles of  novels, weighing down my school case so I would need to switch arms every 20 paces on the walk home. I always arrived with an aching back.  Every Saturday I would head to the council run library and spend tranquil hours gazing about the shelves for new and interesting additions I had yet to read.

My love of reading did not diminish as an adult although perhaps my allocation of time spent partaking in its enjoyment did.  Bigger libraries, reciprocal borrowing, joint memberships, meant I could consume more and more books on wider and more varied subjects.  I soon learnt that purchasing brand new books was for the rich or foolhardy - a library reservation and a little patience was all that was required to gain access to the best of the bestsellers.

Having young children meant that my days of simply reading a book from start to finish purely because I wanted to and could were gone.  Reading became something that was snatched in minutes and measured in pages or at best chapters.  I'd pick up my book while waiting at school afternoon collection, I snatch a few pages at hockey practise, or waiting at swimming squads.  I'd visit my local library quickly, skimming the shelves for fast pickups with little time to get the full measure of what I was borrowing - some were great finds, others bitter disappointments but I read them all.  I'd look forward to the 20 minutes I would allow myself in bed each night before I turned off the light - 20 stolen minutes when I could relax and snuggle under the covers and fully immerse myself into the story.

Now my children are older and I can again enjoy the gentle sampling of a novel like a fine wine, taking time over it's selection and breathing deep of its paper and ink.  I can now fully appreciate the texture of words, the rich canopy of a storyline and the emotional fulfillment only a favourite author can bring. 

At last I can love my books.

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