“How Can You Read So Much?”

I’ve had people ask how I can read so much. Not just recently, but all my life. I can’t understand how anyone doesn’t read all the time. I’ve always loved to read. Starting in probably fourth or fifth grade, I’d have several books going at once. One on my bedside table, one in the living room, one in the car, one in my book bag to read on the school bus. These days I can’t read in a moving vehicle without getting carsick, but back then it wasn’t an issue. We weren’t worried about seatbelts in cars, so I’d lay down in the back seat to read. And there were no seatbelts on the school bus. I was rarely the only one reading there. There were three of us to a seat and many times, all three of us would be scrunched down reading our books. We had an hour to ride the bus each way. You can only gossip so much. I even remember a couple of weeks when three of us were reading the same Stephen King novel. I think it was Pet Sematary. And I mean we were literally reading the same book. One of the girls was reading it one day and our other seatmate and I started reading over her shoulders.

As a teenager, when I went through my brief trying-to-tan phase, I could never just lie down and bake. I was too restless; I had to have a book to keep me occupied. I can even remember times when I would spend the night at my best friend’s house and we would spend part of our time reading. Not a lot; we watched movies, listened to music, talked, annoyed her older sister… normal teenager stuff. But, yeah. Sometimes we read books.

I always had a book in my purse, so if there was time in class I could read. Even now, I keep a book with me. Anytime there is a few minutes of down-time, I’m reading. Stopped at traffic lights. In the kitchen while I have a few minutes with something I need to keep an eye on, but don’t need to physically mess with. Before bed and after I wake up, before the kids wake up. I don’t watch much TV, but sometimes I’ll keep the kids or my husband company while they watch TV, but I’m reading.

I average about one book a day. It does help that I read fast, but also reading a few pages here and there adds up. I love to read, and I love most kinds of books. I love fiction and non-fiction. It just depends on my mood at that moment. I prefer books that don’t make me cry much because I read for the fun of it and crying really isn’t much fun. But I’ll put up with a little crying in a story if there is a happy ending.

So the question for me isn’t how do I read so much. It’s how does someone not read?