Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Recently I remarked to Susanne at Living To Tell the Story that I admire her healthy reading discipline. As much as I love to read (former English major), I can't imagine having a whole list to barrel through like Susanne and a lot of you seem to.

She gave me a peek inside her routine, which includes making the most of leisure moments to read, even if it's just a few pages at a time. I promise I do that, too, but still . . . how do you finish so many? Especially since you also blog!

OK, here's my reading roller coaster: Bible in the morning. Not because I'm good. Not because I'm faithful. But because our church made a brochure with a check-off box next to daily readings. If there's one thing I love as much or more than reading, it's checking off lists! Our church's corporate goal is to read through the Bible together in a year. Being obsessive and competitive in any endeavor involving words, my personal goal is to beat everyone around me into the ground, including the Head Honcho. The Big Enchilada. You know, El Reverend Grande. But that's just between you and me. Because as well as being my lider espiritual, he's also mi jefe. And "jefes" can fire you for being an idiot on a blog, so if asked, I'll deny I said any of this.

Anyway, to make sure I don't waste any opportunities, I also keep a book or two in the little basket in front of the toilet. I may peruse CS Lewis, Oswald Chambers, (Is it my imagination, or is Oswald striking a sexy pose here?) or Max Lucado, or the tag on a towel or the word on the toe of my sock or directions on lotion. ("Apply as needed. Avoid eyes" --Always exciting--the way burning pain is merely hinted at instead of cheapened by gratuitous details--darned good writing.)

Not counting recipes, I also read when I'm cooking. Right now, it's Sunday's Dilbert stuck to the fridge.
The boss (previously referred to as the "jefe") with devil horn hair takes a copy to Tina the office girl and says, "I need you to edit this before I send it out." She makes a few snide remarks and points out non-words: "incentiment, robustify, flexitate and leadershipping." She cuts him down a little more, and he leaves, dejectedly mumbling, "Why do I even try to moralify these people?" This may be my favorite cartoon ever.

OK there is one real book I'm reading right now, but I don't like it. It's one of those "marriage" books by a Christian author. I think I've read 100 of these. But our small group of 7 couples is doing this together with a DVD on Sunday nights. Heaven knows we need all the help we can get; who doesn't? It's just that when I read marriage books, it's as if somewhere in the background, far, far away, I hear the low roar of a push lawn mower. As I advance through the chapters, the sound grows, subtly but steadily. About four chapters into it, the lawn mower is like it's right outside my open window, and by the time I'm done, it's in my house, mowing a square around the perimeter of the room inward until I have to lift my feet to let it get under them. Am I communicating clearly?: I hate marriage books.

Nevertheless, I'm going to finish this book. Maybe I should put a little empty check box on each page to mark off as I go. Maybe I should challenge the other wives to see who finishes first. Maybe I should be determined to "robustify" my reading list and "flexitate" my vocabularly. Maybe I should ask mi lider espiritual grande or God why I hate marriage books. Sigh.

Chapter 8: "C O U P L E: How to Spell Love to Your Wife" (Wince!)


Susanne said...

LOL, reading is sexy? Who knew. But how much do you have to read to reach the point of, being considered sexy?

Okay my friend, how about I appeal to your obsessive competitive nature towards things to do with words and I dare ya to finish a book by the end of the month. There how's that? And I'll even let it be a non-fiction that has nothing to do with marriage.

Melanie said...

I don't like self-help books in general. Ironic, since I was a psych major!

I saw the Armed and Famous show today and thought of you! I only saw parts of it, but it looks pretty funny.

Linda said...

Susanne and Melanie, I don't mind nonfiction. I can abide biographies, self-help, and "HTML for Dumies." It's the marriage thing. Maybe I have a rebellious streak. Actually, I think it goes deeper, but that's a whole other post. Or whole other book!

OK- Susanne, I'm going to finish another "real" book by the end of January! Uh, any suggestions?

Melanie--Armed and Famous was hilarious to us in spite of it's boring nature. I think I'm going to post about it.

And--can either of you tell me how to respond to each comment BETWEEN comments?

Barbara H. said...

I keep seeing that book being referred to. I should probably put it on my list. I hope you let us know what you think about it when you're done (or even along the way).

I never thought about it, but I usually end up feeling really grouchy during or after reading marriage books. I devoured them with gusto before marriage. I think for me maybe it has to do with realizing all over again how self-centered I am. I wish Elisabeth Elliot would write a whole book just on marriage. She is one writer whose tone and experiences and writing just speak to me. One of the most helpful things I ever read about marriage was 1 chapter in her book Keep a Quiet Heart.

As for reading -- I am a voracious reader, and, like Susanne said, I make the most of leisure moments to read. I probably most often read in the bathroom. :) I also take a book with me to doctor's offices or any place where I'll have to spend time waiting. Sometimes I read at night after everyone has gone to bed. But I gravitate toward fiction. It's harder for me to "get into" a non-fiction book in a few snatches of time here and there. I have to make time for it somehow and resist doing so, but I'm usually glad when I'm done.

Heidi said...

I'm with you. There's only so many marriage books I can read. If I was unhappy, maybe I would want to read them, but I doubt it. Good luck with this. Being in a group helps.

Nancy said...

I'm big on checking boxes too! All I really have to do to motivate myself is to make a list with little boxes next to the items, so why do I resist making the list?