365 Challenge: Day 12 – Reader

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Reader: a person who reads or is fond of reading (reading: to look at and comprehend the meaning of [written or printed matter] by mentally interpreting the characters or symbols of which it is composed)

Ah, tough one. The definition of “reader” has the word “read” in it, which doesn’t help my cause, now does it?

Yes, I’m a voracious reader. Always have been. I’ve loved books and words ever since I can remember. Words were my first friends because it was easier to curl up with a good book than to socialize with people… because… can you guess it… I was… shy! (I’ll stop referencing that earlier post from Day 5 finally – unless of course it is a really strong connection in a future one).

The true first memory I have of reading corresponds to a trip to the Bethpage Public Library, Bethpage of course being the little hamlet or township I grew up in on Long Island (New York). I belonged to the summer reading challenge and had to sign up for reading a certain amount of books. I have such a fond and warm memory of going to the library, skipping to the children’s section, finding the series of books that I loved so dearly… hard-cover, each book was a different color. It was the same character and she learned a new lesson in each book. Now here’s the sad part… get this… I cannot remember the name of the author of the books. And I loved them so. How could this happen? Well, I suspect I have a bit of a memory issue (some good things with it, some bad things with it)… so I have to just accept that I don’t know what they were. I look up children’s series on Goodreads often, trying to locate it, but haven’t found it yet. Some day.

Regardless of that little sidebar, my first memory of reading not only brought me cherished characters and stories, it also brought me a thirst for reading as much as I could… being part of challenges to see if I could predict and achieve my target quota. Hence why I’ve grown to love Goodreads.

  • In the 2016 challenge, I started with 52 books for the year, assuming 1 per week; however, stuff got in the way and I dilly-dallied… so by July, I was off target. I smacked myself (literally) – and, if you remember me saying I only ever had 2 fights (1 where I hit someone and 1 where someone hit me), that’s still true as smacking yourself doesn’t count as a fight to me! – started jumping back into weekly reading and was able to increase it up to 70 by the end of the year.
  • For 2017, I pushed it to 78 but I’ve had so much free time lately, I made it 104 per year — 2 books per week — that I must read. And trust me, I will accomplish it.

That said, why reading? And is it just for pleasure…

Reading is where everything you want to see and do is at your fingertips, when you can’t actually get to the real thing. If you love the idea of being a detective but don’t want to change professions, read a mystery. If you want to be a chef but can’t cook for your life (don’t worry, I can cook, and I’m quite good… that’ll be a topic in the future), peruse culinary books and stories about chefs.

You can connect with other people: some real, some not so real. Perhaps it’s a biography, and you feel a relationship with both the author and the person who is the subject of the book. Perhaps it’s a creative world full of witches and warlocks, and you can feel the imagination running wild.

But it’s not just for pleasure for me. I get excited when I see something written. Some people see a beautiful sky view or a river and absolutely have to go see it. Some people hear music and feel compelled to listen to and study it. For me, if I see something written down, a force nearly as strong as gravity pulls me to it. It could be a grocery list, a journal entry, a recipe, instructions for using an appliance, etc. NERD alert! But I’ve always found nerds sexy…

There is a power in the written word that calls to me, more than anything else in my life. What’s the font? What’s the color? What’s the sentence structure? What’s the plot? Who are the main characters? What did I learn from it? What new words did I look up? It never ends… there’s always something to change your life because of reading.

I can’t understand how someone could be bored by reading. Yes, perhaps if all I ever did was read, I might get restless or feel too much repetition. But that would have to be non-stop for days and weeks and months before I’d ever say “I can’t read anymore.” I choose to stop reading because I like a balanced day, not because I simply can’t do it anymore. I suppose I understand that someone’s brain is built differently, and therefore reading doesn’t give them the same experience. Got it… no worries. We can still be friends, but we’ll have a lot less to talk about! 😊

This post could go on and on… and I’m thinking of making 1 post per month dedicated to the love of reading and what it does to me or for me… so I’ll stop here with just a few brief and final thoughts about reading. My favorites:

  • Authors: Agatha Christie, J.K. Rowling, Henry James, Kate Morton, Philippa Gregory
  • Books: Harry Potter series, And Then There Were None, The Forgotten Garden, Night Over Water, World Without End, The Philosopher’s Apprentice, The Plantagenet series of books
  • Genre: Historical Fiction, Mysteries, Cozies
  • Time Period: American Realistic, Classic Mystery Period, Shakespearean / Elizabethan
  • Type: A physical book in hand (but I do e-read, too)
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4 thoughts on “365 Challenge: Day 12 – Reader

    Rae Longest said:
    March 25, 2017 at 7:44 PM

    For a young man, and an old woman, we have a lot in common. We are the same kind of reader: voracious, eclectic, estatic at times, and more. Do you think perhaps there are “many” of “us” out there, or something? I’m meeting so many “kindred souls” through this blogging thing that I’m beginning to suspect that is true. I hope you continue to get as much pleasure, comfort, sustenance and education from reading as I have in my life time.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      March 27, 2017 at 8:05 AM

      We do. I think there are many of us, but the world is so large, and people communicate so differently, connecting is often not as easy as one would think. Blogging is a slow art. Of course, some people immediately attract the crowds, but printed material like our thoughts and ideas will be found for years to come. Thank you for the well wishes. I’m glad we’ve connected on here.

      Liked by 1 person

    […] 50+ days of posts, and covering various characteristics such as creativity, reader, poetic, and lister, I’m sure you realize I am a writer. And if those weren’t clues, […]

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