Friday, June 19, 2009


I've been doing a bit of reading--quite a bit. It's really my favorite pastime, but I never do it guiltlessly--even when I can. I choose to submerge myself in books when I need solitude and rest, when I'm traveling, and when I commute by train to jobs in the City. I'm a very fast reader, which is more bad news than good these days. It was great when I was a student and had required assignments, but now I run through about a book a day, and that is expensive and inconvenient.

I learned to lose myself in reading as a kid when stuck in that dysfunctional suburban home--especially in the summer time when the days were long, hot and (no air conditioning) muggy. Also spending time at my grandparents when chores were done, there was the escapism of reading. My paternal grandparents were great readers and every visit to their home included a trip to the Augusta library--five miles away.

Nowadays, my favorite spots for reading are one of two comfortable chairs in the great room or sitting up with the pillows propped just so in my bed. And, the screened porch with the ceiling fan slowly spinning with the snap, crackle, pop, and birdsong of the encroaching woods is a summer-time favorite.

Back to the guilt... Where does it come from? The days of hiding out upstairs when mom wanted help with the housework? The days of avoiding homework with pleasure reading? Reading late into the night when my little ones were finally in bed and I should have been there, too?

I think it's high time to forsake the guilt and declare myself guiltless. Reading is a no-fault pleasure and life is just too short for baseless guilt.

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