When I was a kid, I could read anywhere. My favorite place was in bed, after my two younger sisters were asleep. I would hook my top sheet into the upper bunk springs and make a tent, then turn on the flashlight and read until Mom peered in before she went to bed. Busted! But not really, as long as I was quiet she really didn’t care that I was still awake. She put all three of us down at 7:30 so she could get some respite. That I was nine allowed me extra reading time. (We only watched television on the weekends for the longest time.) Of course, she hated summers, when she was thwarted by the late sunsets.
As a child, I always wished we had a huge willow tree beneath which I could read, in a hammock or on a blanket. (I have always preferred solitude.)
While a teenager, I would spend every free minute reading, usually two or three books a week. I’d sit sideways in an old stuffed armchair with my legs hanging over and a cat in my lap. (My allergies/asthma didn’t kick in until I was 19.) I’d read at the doctor’s or dentist’s office and anywhere I had to stand in line. Except for swimming practice and swim meets, I went outside very little, which really bugged my Dad, who thought I was weird. Even then I was escaping from reality through books, where life was more exciting and dreams came true. They also kept me from dwelling on/missing no-sticker-burrs, tall-treed, hilly Indiana and all of our family there.
Now my favorite place to read is on the couch with the natural light coming in through the windows and shining on the pages. I don’t feel at ease reading at the library, which is no longer manditorily quiet, or outside, where bugs bug me…Danny and I both read in bed before falling asleep. Our nightstands hold several books. We have booklights with which to read, while the other sleeps.
I read to the grandchildren until they can read for themselves, although occasionally the older ones still beg me to read their favorite picture books before they settle down for the night. We crowd onto one mattress, which is my favorite part, and there is always “one more, Grandma.”
I keep a bookcase filled with books for all their ages and stages. (Reading to and with your children/grandchildren is very nuturing and rewarding. It is also very important in their development and getting them ready for being good students.) When they are tired of playing or drawing or watching a DVD, they will pick out a book or two, plop on the floor or couch, and read. Even the little ones can concentrate so well and tell me what they are “reading.”
Although I’ve read just about everywhere – beach, plane, car, train, poolside, restaurant – one of these days, I’ll have a comfortably padded windowseat or a soft leather couch in our two-story home library. Or, maybe both. Being snowed in wouldn’t bother me at all.