I Said CARE! by Deb Kristy

What I’m reading now? Well, I’m reading a lot now. I’m always reading a lot. I read the back of the Pantene bottle while I’m washing my hair; I read the toothpaste label while I’m brushing my teeth; I read license plates while I’m driving.

What?

Anyway, as far as books go, I usually have several going at once. One is always on my bathroom counter. I hold it open with a cookbook weight (also called a sap, which is, yes, a weapon that police use, but is also handy for holding books open upon the counter), and read while brushing and flossing my teeth, drying my hair, and applying the various potions that keep my face from looking like old shoe leather.

Another is always in my car. Yes. It’s true. I DO read while driving. I mean, not really while driving, but while stuck in traffic, at stop lights, or just feeling ornery and like stopping in the middle of the road and enraging Yankees who should have been gone by now anyway.

There’s also usually one on the kitchen counter. I rarely read this one. But I move it around a lot. It can be found on the long kitchen counter, the kitchen counter beside the stove, the dryer in the laundry room, and occasionally the edge of the dresser of the guest room (see last week’s post). What does all this literary restless feet mean? I chalk it up to my fear of commitment and startling lack of courage.

And yet another is on the coffee table. This one often migrates also, but it’s a pleasant migration, unlike the jittery, uncomfortable migration of the poor kitchen counter book. It just shuttles from the arid coolness of the coffee table to the fine page-curling humidity of the patio.

Now, the real subject this week is what are you reading and why should we care, so I’ll tell you what’s where first:

Bathroom counter: Double Bind by Chris Bojalian
Car: On Writing by Stephen King
Kitchen Counter: Um, okay, full disclosure, it’s not a book, it’s a magazine and it happens to be a National Geographic, which my grandfather ever-so-kindly renews for me every year. Thanks Granddaddy! It is about my ancestors, the fine, upstanding folk of Jamestown.
Coffee table/patio: Set Me Free by Miranda Beverly Whittemore

And, for the final part of the question: why should you care?

Because I do. Passionately. I care desperately about the written word. I am awed by people who can put them together and make me care about people I will never meet and who are likely not even real. I believe, with every fibre (which is a lot like fiber, but I like the surface import the British spelling gives it, a pretense I usually abhor, btw) of my being that writing is essential and beautiful and worth our full attention and appreciation.

We all have just a little more time in our lives than we care to admit, and I’m the first to admit that I squander mine shamefully. But I’ve never, ever let go of reading, and learning, and caring about the words.

Tell me what you’re reading, tell me where you’re reading it, and tell me that you love something about it.

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8 thoughts on “I Said CARE! by Deb Kristy

  1. Funny, I’ve always read labels — any kind will do — and I , too, have books scattered everywhere. Right now I’m reading The Lovely Bones (6th time), Town House (1st time), and One Hundred Years of Solitude (1st time). Each is in a different room in my house.

    But reading in the car? You might get away with that kind of thing down south where the pace is slower and the people more patient, but don’t try that in Boston. It could take an eye out!

  2. Oh, let’s see… in the bedroom, it’s The House of the Spirits, in the office is Born to Rock by Gordon Korman (but everything on the shelves is fair game), downstairs is all sewing books and magazines, and in my work bag I’m carrying around a little book called Catching Genius (ever heard of it…?). There are more but I can’t remember what and where they are!

  3. I’m a one-book-at-a -ime woman (monogamy in the highest order!). I just finished a marvelous book (an ARC) I’ll be blogging about later this month titled KEEPING THE HOUSE by Ellen Baker. I loved loved loevd it. A great, juicy family saga spanning from the late 1890s to 1950. I’m now reading Margaret Sartor’s hilarious MISS AMERICAN PIE. She took her diaries from the 1970s when she was 13-18 and compiled them in book form. It’s me only funnier. I keep waking my husband up because I’m laughing so hard. It’s sweet and funny and true.

  4. Oh, I admire you folks who can read more than one book at a time! I just can’t do it. I lose focus and end up blurring the books together somehow (Imagine the interesting hybrid of ON WRITING and THE DOUBLE BIND!). Writing is another story… I’ve always got at least two books going at once, sometimes three in various stages. It’s an all too scattered way of doing things and it’s a wonder I ever get anything finished.

    This is a wonderful post, Kristy.

  5. In my purse (for subway and streetcar rides) Catching Genius by Kristy Kiernan. Honest. (and it keeps making me miss my stop.)

    In bed — Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert. Interesting.

    And probably about 5 other books lying at various places around the house.

    I read constantly, too… The toothpaste tube confession was familiar.

  6. Upon opening a book, I fall into it and almost believe I’m one of the characters….so, there’s no way I could (or would) “cheat” by having something else to read “on the side.” 😉

    Not much longer until I close the door on TOWN HOSE, head over to Holly Kennedy’s THE PENNY TREE and then revel in Amelia’s escapades in PARTY GIRL. Seriously, can you imagine reading all those at once?!!

  7. I read all the time and everywhere – I’ve recently had to stop at the dinner table because I am setting a bad example for my daughter, who brought Lilly (Henkes) and Olivia (Falconer) to the table on night and then, when told to put it away, pointed to me and asked, “Well, why does Mom get to read at the table.” Foiled again.

  8. Since I’m currently in a very small place, all my books are stacked up in one place. The latest Murder, She Wrote novel is there (2nd or 3rd time), If the Shoe Fits by Stephanie Rowe, the first Clique novel by Lisi Harrison (I write YA, thus I read YA. Interesting novel. Reminds me of high school. Way too much); Gone with the Wind (slowly but surely getting through the damn thing). Oh yeah, and I’m also compulsively editing my novel (minor tweaks) while querying agents. Does that count as “reading a book”?

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