I’m not bookless.

I’m not bookless. That is a wonderful thing. It is pretty awful to be bookless. I have been bookless before. I don’t like it.

I grew up reading alot. By the time I was in Jr. High, I read a book a week, at least. This continued throughout my teen years, married life, young adulthood. I have never NOT had a library card. I have lived many places with great libraries. (Until I moved here. Our little library has just a few more books than Steve and I have. And it is only open about 6 hours a week. Sad…… but true.)

17 years ago my life changed. An illness caused me to become dyslexic. (Technically, it is called acquired dyslexia) I had to relearn how to read. This was one of many challenges I faced, but this was perhaps one of the most frustrating.

It took lots of work and perseverance, but I did learn to read again. Not well, not fast, but I could do it. I havent read nearly as much in the last 2 decades. I am a slow reader now. I don’t always understand what I read because I read the wrong words, or the right words in the wrong order. It gets confusing. But I plug away at it.

When I was in Utah on vacation in June, I read alot. I started AND finished a book while I was there (record time of 2 wks for Andserson Cooper’s book Dispatches From the Edge). I started a 2nd one and finally finished it last week. (a whole book in 2 mos! Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper) These are astonishing time frames for me in the reading area of my life.

So yesterday, Steve and I went to KMart and bought more books. I got 3, he got 2. I have read 17 pages. He has read half a book! He is often bookless because he reads so fast. He is one of those people that will re-read a book. Not just once, but several times if it is one he likes. Me? I have re-read a book once. It is one of my favorite books. (I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb) And there are several that I read so long ago that I think I may like to re-read them.

One of my favorite teachers of all time, Chet (Chester) Chylinski taught me how to not just READ a book…. but to think it through, analyze it and figure out what you agree with, what you dont, what you can take with you, what you will leave behind. We read Dandelion Wine, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and Lord of the Flies. All great books, all books I would like to read again.

My late brother (Irv) taught HS English for many years. He loaned me several of the books he taught….. and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison was one of my favorites.

My taste in reading is eclectic. I love true crime stories (my criminal justice background showing), historical novels, Dean Koontz, Jodi Picoult, James Patterson, and most of what Oprah chooses for her book club.

It is good to have books. Sometimes I buy one just to have it. Whether I read it or not…… I just need to own it. I have done alot of that the last 17 years. Put it on the shelf…. maybe some day I will be able to read it. And if I cant, that’s ok too. I can still open the book….. riffle the pages….. smell the print….. feel the heft of it in my lap…… and know that a book can transport me to another time, another place and another world….make me think, make me feel, make me understand, make me marvel, make me wonder.

I am so happy that I am not bookless. And wish the same for you.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. carlafibers
    Aug 28, 2007 @ 11:11:37

    I didn’t know that about the acquired dyslexia… I am glad you are reading once again- albeit at a slower pace. The good thing about reading is that it is not a race.

    I am a voracious reader. Every night, I have to read something to switch my brain off and sleep. I’m like you and love all genre’s. Yes, I also enjoyed Anderson Cooper’s book.


  2. Suzanne
    Aug 28, 2007 @ 18:35:24

    I find it almost impossible to eat my breakfast or lunch without a book by my side. I can’t imagine being bookless, either.


  3. Eileen Keane
    Aug 28, 2007 @ 21:50:53

    I’ve never heard of acquired dyslexia, I’m so happy that you have been able to once more venture into the world of books. I hate when I’m bookless-I’ll read anything, even milk cartons. I am reading a lot of books on self-help right now.


  4. TK42ONE
    Aug 30, 2007 @ 22:41:33

    It might not be your cup of tea, but I’m working my way through a re-read and detailed analysis (of sorts) of The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It was one of those books that I loved so much I couldn’t wait to finish it and now I can’t wait to re-read it.

    And you’re right, the smell of print is great. Intoxicating. Especially old books.


  5. sammi
    Aug 31, 2007 @ 07:09:07

    I must join in on the “book club”. I too have been a voracious reader from age 4 when I was first allowed in the “children’s nook” of our little library. I didn’t read so much when I was longarming – seems my pea brain was occupied with “seeing” how I was going to quilt the next quilt in line. I bought another set of “The Junior Classics” to re-read now that I am re-retired! I love the way a book can transport you to another place. Do take a look at http://www.tinoturtletravels.com and see two of the books my friend and new author Carolyn has written for children ages 4-10! Thanks for sharing your love of books, Gayle.


  6. Chet Chylinski
    Sep 15, 2007 @ 03:39:10

    Hi Gayle …
    I must say that I am feeling honored and humbled
    at this moment reading your blog which mentions
    me … It is often that I search the web for inspiration, and tonight I typed in my name, and lo
    and behold, there I was … I hope that we can connect via this great technology … I am thrilled with reading about your life … I have been flirting with beginning my own blog of sorts, and
    seeing where it may lead me … It is so nice to be
    remembered !!! And I do remember you too …
    Teaching was good to me, and my life continues
    to be one of creativity, some writing, much reading, and photography, travel, and wondering whatever has happened to so many of
    those I have had the pleasure to have met before. I do look forward to sharing moments
    from our lives and our thoughts about life …
    And might I suggest two books by Jim Fergus that you might enjoy: One Thousand White Women, and The Wild Girl !!! I do not know what I would do without a Borders Bookstore nearby, or Amazon.com either !!!
    Thank you again for the wonderful moment that
    happened for my spirit when I saw my name mentioned in your kind thoughts !!!


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