I'd like to think of myself as a veracious reader. The reason I'm slightly non-committal to that statement is when I say it to people I worry it conjures up me pouring over Yeats and Hemingway; when in reality I just finished a young reader's novel that Charlie Kaufman's set to adapt.
Reading to me is a wonderful escape that I try and fit in wherever I can. I find it immensely relaxing, and it is a genuine pleasure in my life. I read novels, novellas, articles and comics. Whatever suits where I'm reading at the time.
Like most men (and if you ask most men this and they disagree they're lying to you) my favourite place to read is the toilet. Please don't imagine me there for hours on end, I'm a quick reader and like to get chunks read as I do my business. Every place I've worked I get funny looks because I often take my book with me to the loo. Without being disgusting I do this to relax. I'm not saying that necessarily it helps with the disposal of my waste to leaf through a book about a Steampunk adventurer (though sometimes it does) but the escape helps to un-fog my mind somewhat.
Next time you're at work and you're having trouble getting something done, go off to the lavatory with a book/magazine/comic (ladies don't take 50 Shades, because let's face it people will talk about what you're doing alone in the loo) and just focus on it as you're there.
The strange thing is I'm dyslexic. In my tests it's been said that reading can really tax my mind and wipe me out. Sometimes this is true, but when it's MY reading, the opposite can be true.
Quick aside; dyslexia can sometimes give you hilarious misreadings . My two favourite occasions being when I was in New York and I read a poster Women Bras Dancing (should have read Women Bars Dancing); and when the video game Rainbow Six: Vegas at a glance was called Rainbow Six: FUDGES.
For me reading has been part of my life from the get go, though it hasn't always been me doing the reading. My parents read to me from almost the moment I emerged. My mother says that when I was a precocious wee toddler that I declared one day that I wasn't going to learn to read, when asked why my reply was "because then no-one will read to me."
Nowadays it's my son I'm reading to. We also started reading to him very early on. What began with That's Not My Monkey, now has moved onto your Julia Donaldson/Axel Schefflers. It's actually amazing how quickly a child graduates from simple statements on a page to a proper story. If the boy doesn't have narrative flow to his story-time, forget it.
One of the highlights of my life is either reading to Zac myself or listening to my wife do it (her Three Sleepy Kittens is sublime.) The funny thing is, with the boy it's also a relaxation tool. The majority of his story-time is at bedtime. It's part of the routine. Like me maybe it's the focus and the escape that allows him to forget we're putting him to bed (we're such bastards) and lets the tiredness take over.
I'm hoping that one day when Zac's in his late twenties he's sitting down after a long day (or large burrito) leafing through a Philip K Dick and he thinks of his dear old Dad.
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