Because I’m dyslexic, I learned to read late. At the end of second grade (when they realized I have a learning difference) I could not read. I went into third grade unable to read and left, with the help of some phenomenal (and very, very, very patient) teachers, able to read above my grade level. The college student who looked after me that summer read to me, took me to libraries and let me check out stacks of books. By the time I was mainstreamed back into the normal classes I was a confirmed book addict.
It feels like I spent the years from third grade until my early thirties
reading anything I could get my hands on. I found Thackeray’s VANITY FAIR so hard to put down I read at stop lights. I read the first Harry Potter novel in a day and Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan novels had to be hidden from me. I’m both uncoordinated and accident-prone – combine this with walking while reading and I’ve fallen down stairs (I was reading Diana Wynne Jones, as I remember) and into holes (Ngaio Marsh).
Then I had children, a job and life went from busy to a frantic spin. Anytime I spent sitting I would use to write. Audio books took over and any reading I did had to do with reading to/with my children or beta reading for crit partners. I missed reading simply for pleasure.
I had our second child late in life and in the last year realized that for his
sake I must get regular exercise. Being on my feet all day made my legs strong but does very little for my heart. We bought an elliptical machine and I carved time out of most days to get on for thirty to forty-five minutes (this usually means I end up staying up thirty to forty-five minutes later at night but live in hope that I’ll organize myself better one of these days).
I read on the elliptical. Nothing else works – if I’m watching a movie or TV I
tend to notice what I’m doing and feel tired sooner. With a book I can put on
the ‘Climbing Everest’ program and notice nothing until the beeper goes off and I find I’m panting hard.
It’s been an absolute joy to read for pleasure again. I leave the book on the
elliptical – I’m always eager to get back to it and this ensures that rarely
miss a days exercise (it also stops me from standing in the hall, reading for an hour afterwards). LOKI’S WOLVES (K. L. Armstrong), UNSPOKEN (Sarah Rees Brennan), GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS (Rae Carson), ETIQUETTE AND ESPIONAGE (Gail Carrige), THE DEMONS LEXICON (Sarah Rees Brennan), THE GRAVEYARD BOOK (Neil Gaiman), THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH Maureen Johnson), and REDSHIRTS (John Scalzi) are recent reads while BLUE BLAZES (Chuck Wendig), FAIR COIN (E. C. Myers), THE ARCHIVED (Victoria Schwab) and THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE (Neil Gaiman) all wait patiently.
I’ll do anything for a good book.