The ruminations of an artist on art & quilts, beading, knitting, drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking are all my passions, I love to explore creating....

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.

"She reads anything and everything and even now hates to be distrubed and above all however often she has to read a book and however foolish the book may be no one must make fun of it or tell her how it goes on. It is still as it always was real to her."
--Gertrude Stein

I love to read. I read a whole lot. I read many types of books--from fiction to essays to cookbooks to craft books to poetry---and usually have 3 or 4 books going at once. I read every day--in fact. Reading books every day is so normal to me that I was astonished when I first realized that not everyone in our culture reads books every day. (Too bad for them.)

I couldn't read until I was 8 years old--yup--it was third grade---my second grade teacher really worked with me, but I just did not understand reading. Then one day, I could just do it--I could read---whatever needed to click in my brain, just clicked and I could read--! I could read about 6th grade level or better, in fact. Whenever I meet parents who are worried about their child not reading in 1st or 2nd grade, I tell them this, and that I love books and reading so much that I have worked for years as a bookseller and even owned my own bookstore for awhile.

I think once I discovered reading fiction as a child--books became my refuge, my escape, my alter-life--and always so much more happy, or exciting or fun than my real life! I could curl up in the attic in my secret hiding place and be transported to another world through a book. I gradually read my way through the local library --- when I found a book I liked, I would go to the library and read all the books by that author---I still do this.

When I first went to college--I was 38 years old (an older student "returning student" they called us)--and one of my literature proffs was helping me to design an independent study which involved reading 19th century (Western) classics---when he discovered I had already read most of the books he had on his reading list--he told me I was "astonishingly well read." I replied--"Well, I think it was those long winters in the Alaskan bush---what else to do but chop wood, feed the fire and read ?" I once read somewhere that unless one comes out of school having learned to "read for pleasure" (what a concept! why else would one read?) one would never be a reader. Thank Goddess I discovered this pleasure, and I still have the ability to indulge in reading every day.

1 comment:

beadbabe49 said...

I've been reading for pleasure since I was 4 years old...the tricky part is balancing reading and beading time...;)