Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Reading...and knitting

I've always been an avid reader.  I read all the time as a child.  I'd have a book in my book bag and one at home and wouldn't mix them.  I loved having multiple stories and characters going through my head all the time.  When I was in 3rd grade I read all the books in the school library section for "3rd grade and under" so they moved me up to the "older" books.  This is when I fell in love with Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I even majored in English in college because I could read and get "credit" for it.  Then I read probably 5 books at a time, finishing 3 or so per week.  It was intense, especially in grad school, but mostly I loved it.

Then one day when I was trying to get myself motivated to work on my English dissertation (which is different from the one I actually finished) I realized that I didn't have to read any book that I wasn't interested in.  This made me feel free, liberated somehow and I ended up combing through my library and ridding myself of any book that I didn't love.  My to-be-read shelf was combed through carefully and books I wasn't terrifically excited about reading got donated to the library.

After deciding that I didn't want the PhD in English and instead starting over (yes, I started over) on a doctorate in higher education leadership, I promised myself that I would never waste time on books again.  If I didn't like it went.  Even if I was just starting, or over half-way through.  I would not ever read a book again if I wasn't having fun reading it.

Then when I was writing my dissertation, I didn't want to read anything "hard" or that made me think.  I told myself that all I'd read while writing was romance novels, so I did.  And I loved it.

Then something weird happened.  I turned in my last revision on my dissertation, looked at my to-be-read shelf and didn't want to read a single book in there.  I got a few books by my favorite authors on my Kindle and I didn't want to read those.  I tried and tried to find something that would interest me, but I was just simply not interested in reading.

And it's very very weird.  What I am interested in instead is knitting, and I'm not skilled enough to do both at the same time.

But, something else happened to me a little over a year ago.  I decided that I was not going to be able to handle, for one more day, the commute to work.  I was terrifically bored on the drive in (about an hour) and going home was torture.  People kept recommending audio books, but I have a hard time paying attention to people talking and thought it wouldn't work for me.  Desperation brought about desperate measures, though, and I bought Outlander.  A book I knew I loved and since the new installment was going to be released "soon" I thought it would be a good experience to start from book 1 and read through.  I had time (these books are super-long).  So, I invited Claire and Jaime to come on my commute and a world of opportunities opened up for me.

I didn't mind my drive fact, I sort of looked forward to it, especially when the books were getting good.  I've re-listened to books I've read before and had different experiences listening to them.  The narrators really do bring a lot to the books and it makes the experiences different--sometimes better sometimes not.

I still like my romances.  I listen to a lot of them.  But I also am starting to enjoy my books that are "harder" reads.  The ones that will challenge me, make me think, and provide me with opportunities to TALK ABOUT books with people again.

How wonderful.

But, you know what else is awesome?  I can listen to books while I's amazing.  And so much better than watching TV because I don't have to look up or miss anything because I'm not looking up.

I'm so glad that Audible has a wonderful subscription program because if it didn't, I'd probably break the bank in how quickly I'm consuming books this year...but that's ok.  I'm reading again and it's awesome.

The book I finished last night was one that I want to go back and read again.   The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.  Go get your copy, read it, be amazed at how the story plays out...the writing, the imagery, the beauty of that book.  And do it quickly because I need to talk with people about this book while it's still on my mind!


Knitting progress:  I finished the Chicken Socks!  I got to the next eyelet row on the shawl (but only worked on it for a quick stint because I needed to finish the socks).  And I started the next pair of socks.  They are "spring" socks that I'm doing a knit-a-long with the Seasonal Sock Syndrome folks.  The yarn for those is Lorna's Laces SoleMate, which I'm not sure I'm sold on.  It has a tenseness to it that I'm not sure I like for socks, but we shall see how it ends up knitting up.  The colors are gorgeous, as are all LL colors.  This one is called Circus, I believe.  I had a hard time reading the label, but David picked it out of all the yarns that I threw on the floor as the one that sang "spring" to him.  The pattern on the new socks is Celebrate Spring by Anne Budd.

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