day 264 – Opportunities to Read

Reading is a pleasure and it sustains me.  It may be different for you.  It is an activity for me.  It also feeds me.  Maybe you find joy in running or exercise or music or art.  My contentment comes from reading and when I don’t have time for my favorite pastime, I make it.

I waited in the Kaiser lounge at Lakeview yesterday while my daughter had her private exit exam with her primary doctor before going off to college.  I read my new Lavender recipe book my BFF thoughtfully gifted me for my birthday.

I “watch” baseball on TV with my husband and read magazines or trashy periodicals.  I used to bring a full on book to read when we had season tickets to Angel Stadium.  You cannot do that with hockey.

I read in the bathroom.  Doesn’t everyone have at least one shelf or basket of articles, magazines or entertaining literature in their commode area?  In my private bathroom I share with hubby, I have a series of inspirational daily meditations.  I get a spiritual boost every morning.

I read in bed.  Stacks of books line up below and beside me.  Pens, pencils, highlighters and sticky flags to mark important pages grace my 20” round glass-topped nightstand – crowded by a beaded reading lamp and a precious sunrise light/Zen music alarm clock.  Naturally, I own a clip on reading LED light so as not to bother my evening companion.

I read in the car when I’m a passenger.  I used to love the train or bus commutes when I was younger and took mass transportation.  I could read and alternate looking out the window or watching people.

I take a book with me wherever I go.  From experience I know I might be on a line somewhere and wonder ‘why didn’t I bring my book?’  At the bank, Disneyland, auto repair shop or doctor appointment for example.

I read outside.  I love to curl up on a balcony, patio or garden bench and read.  I speculate, I dream and I observe.  I never go on vacation, an overnight jaunt or to the beach without a good book (or two) in hand.  I used to spend my teenage summers just lolling around for hours on Long Island rocky beaches, reading.

I read on airplanes.  Before boarding, I get a lot of reading done waiting at my gate. Mostly prayers once we are in the air, flying.

I read when I eat alone.  I am loving the company of Oscar Wilde lately at the tree house dining table.  Meanwhile, at home in my kitchen, I catch up on newspaper entertainment, gardening, decor or travel sections.  There is nothing like reading a cookbook or a food memoir while you are dining either.

And like earlier this morning, I read when I walk alone.  I listen to books on tape/cd/download.  I have countless hours trekked by feet, accompanied by countless books I have in print form as well.  I am an aural learner too and certain voices resonate with me.

Listening to the author of the book or even an actor or actress you like the sound of enhances and helps you experience or envision your read.  When I listen to The Four Agreements, I hear Peter Coyote.  When I read The Four Agreements, I hear his melodic, baritone voice.

Pema Chodron has a soft, gentle and intelligent, pensive voice.  Her cadence and pitch helps you understand complicated Buddhist teachings.  I hear her voice when I go back to reread some volume of hers.  The same is true of many others.

The opposite is true too.  I hate Echart Tolle’s droll, boring, energy sapping voice – so I stick to just the printed page with him.

And of course, I have been known to spend endless hours in libraries, used and regular bookstores, sampling, tasting and reviewing possible good reads.  Plus, nowadays, I also have the computer, online reading and electronic books to consume.

I suppose if you are obsessed, you do what you are obsessed with every chance you get.  Good thing I’m not obsessed with food.

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