Book stack

The story goes: when I learned to read.

But that tale isn’t complete because, for a lot of us, learning to read doesn’t end in identifying as a “reader.”

Instead, we might say: oh, I wish I read more.

Or: Too bad I don’t have more time/there aren’t more hours in a day/if I were on permanent vacation, then I’d become a reader! Yeah. When I retire.

Or: I only read non-fiction/newspapers/magazines.

Apparently, if we can’t gobble twelve novels in a fortnight, we aren’t truly readers. I guess we’re dabblers? We’re book hobbyists, who are admittedly less than devoted to our hobby. With the television and training for a marathon and practicing with the band and cooking seven nights a week for the kids, putting in extra hours at work, we never reach the Reading Ideal.

Which is what?

The story goes: sometimes it doesn’t matter how you fill your time. When reading gets you, it has you. You pick up one book. You pick up another. Soon, you’ve read so many, they’re melding together in your mind.

A good friend of mine once grabbed a stack of books he found in a parking lot. One seemed interesting, so he read it. Which of course led to reading another. Another. You see . . . reading got him.

A co-worker’s husband devoted himself to one non-fiction account of local color and then reading got him. He descended into a frenzy. Anything he could get his hands on. Book after book. He hasn’t stopped yet.

The story goes: reading might eventually let you go. Who knows when it’ll pick you up again. Don’t prepare. If it happens, then it does. Go with it.