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.
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.