In my pre-parenting days I was an avid reader. Mostly popular fiction, but I liked to think I was more literary than say, my mother, who seems to read a lot of what I call romance novels. My favorite authors include Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Elizabeth Berg, Barbara Kingsolver, John Irving, John Grisham, Nelson DeMille and many more I’m not going to hunt down right now. I visited my local library frequently, putting books on hold, picking up new ones, returning read ones, and the librarians knew me by name and sight. I didn’t have much of a social life, but I could always entertain myself.
Now that I’m a parent I read to my kids constantly, of course. As they get older we get to explore chapter books that I actually take some enjoyment from as well. We’ve read Charlotte’s Web, Black Beauty and Misty of Chincoteague, which I read as a child. But we’ve also read books written since that I’ve enjoyed as much or more than they have such as Frindle and Holes. Right now we’re reading Three Cups of Tea, based on a true story.
Since becoming a mom, my own entertainment has drifted towards television. What with investing in Tivo, and later transferrring to Comcast’s DVR service, I’ve become even more TV obsessed. Last year’s writers’ strike had me joining Netflix, and I got to see a lot of series I’d missed the first time around (Six Feet Under and Arrested Development being highlights).
When my favorite shows had their season finale’s in May, I had nothing to watch. A lot of nights I’ll put NESN on and catch the Red Sox game while I sit with my laptop on my, well, lap, but even that gets old.
Then I learned that one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Berg, had a new book out. I requested it from the library. It came in, and I read it. A friend on Facebook posted about looking for book recommendations, and I wrote down all the books people suggested and looked them up. A lot of them sounded good to me (and some were by authors I love that since I haven’t read for pleasure in so long I hadn’t known about!). When I returned the first book I took out a few more. I am now 2/3 through The Hour I First Believed, by Wally Lamb and am really enjoying it. I missed reading. I’m glad to be doing it again.
Who knows, maybe I’ll even cancel the DVR service?
Nah, let’s not get drastic.
Ahhh, lovin your ability to rediscover that imaginative part of you!
I have always been a huge reader…since kids, I read in bursts. But my best friend for the last few years has been audiobooks. I LOVE audiobooks!!!!
In grad school, while I expressed my woe at not having time to read for fun, another grad student gave me the tip of always reading for pleasure for at least 10 minutes before bed to help you relax. Before that, I felt guilty if I read for fun while I had other things I should be doing. Now I’m glad I picked up the habit.
I also really got into audiobooks this past year, since I commute about an hour a day.
I have been toting around my mother’s ginormous mystery collection for years. I finally started reading them while pregnant (we didn’t get TV hooked up to the new house) and then while nursing the Queen 24/7 (and I’m not exaggerating by much). When we go to the library these days I’ll usually try to pick out a book for myself. I read The Alchemist recently – it’s very good – I wish I’d read it in high school, but it’s not that old.