Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tyrant Can Read

One of my new re-favorite things to do these days is read.

I used to LOVE to read as a kid. I read all the time. Every summer, my mom would take my sister and me to the library to get involved in the summer reading program. We'd go each week and pick out our books. I'd pick more than I thought I could read, but I was usually finished with all of my books before it was time to go back to the library to return them and get more books.

We'd keep track of our books throughout the summer. It was fun at the end of the summer to see how many books we'd read. I was always a fast reader. I could read for hours. I could read while watching TV or listening to music and still absorb whatever I was reading. I loved it.

Then reading became schoolwork, and I was bored and not really interested in learning from reading. It's fun to read before they trick you into actually learning from the reading.

I think for a long time I also lost my attention span for sitting and reading. Even now, it tends to put me to sleep, no matter where I am.

Life also got really busy with too much information and stress filling up my brain. I don't think my brain could hold anything else that involved intentional intake.

But, life is much less stressful these days. I work normal hours. Which, I've discovered, is directly related to my stress levels and my brain's capacity to absorb more through activities, including reading. My brain no longer rebels at intentional information input that is purely for fun.

I read five books on my vacation a couple of weeks ago. This is huge for me. It might mean thhat I'm truly back to being a reader again. Of course, yhere were times on vacation when I would start to read and fall instantly to sleep (including once in a coffee shop). But by the end of my vacation, I gradually built up my reading stamina to where I could read and watch TV and keep up with both things at once.

It's entertainment multi-tasking, if you will.

In fact, these days one of my favorite activities is curling up on the couch, turning on the Olympics, and reading a book . . . all at the same time. It's genius. I watched all of Phelps's golds while reading about a childhood on an African farm.

I'm really into memoirs these days. I like stories of lives told by the people who lived them.

Of course, none of them are as awesome as my memoir will be. But, it's good to keep up with the competition.

This is something I've learned from my Olympics-watching.

It's pretty much a Summer Reading Olympics Program.



Erin said...

You've probably already read them, but I highly recommend Haven Kimmel's books (memoirs): A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off the Couch.

The Cynical Tyrant said...

I've seen Zippy at the store. I'll grab it next time I'm there. Thanks!