don’t wanna break these chains

I, like the responsible 60-some% of our population, voted today.

Because I moved, they had to check my identification, but I was disturbed at how easy it would have been for me to vote as one of my neighbors without any sort of fuss…

I got to the polling station before 6:30, and there were easily 100 people there already. Lucky for me, 75% of those were in the already registered line. When I left (around 7:30, despite the snafu involving no voter registration forms except in Spanish) there were easily 300 people in line. (!!!) I mean, I know this is the granola-crunching capitol, but still! My polling place was a ritzy retirement home, and they had breakfast and hot coffee out for us too, which was a big surprise to me. I think I shall keep this polling place for my very own. (Plus, there was the added bonus of an old woman coming down the stairs around 6:45 and yelling at the doorman. “You didn’t tell me you were letting people in before 7! I would have come down earlier! Now I have to go outside and stand in the cold while I wait. I could have been down here a long time ago, if you had just told me!” There was much muffled laughter, and she was kindly allowed to jump (still grumpily) to the front of the line, in front of the 75 or so bored business people reading Grisham novels.)

**********************

Seven things about me, as a reader:

1. I taught myself to read. Or at least that’s the story that my mom likes to tell. In reality, she was teaching my older brother to read at the time (he was 5, I was 3/4ish) and I was jealous. I think it was really my competitive streak, she was teaching him and I was probably just mad at being excluded. Hmm. Maybe I should just stick to my mom’s version, which simply involves me sweetly telling her one day that I wanted to read her one of R.’s books, and she finally sat down with me, expecting me to turn the pages and make up stories with the pictures, but I just started at the beginning and read her the whole thing. I don’t remember ever having to struggle with reading, I just picked it up. I do remember being upset that R. got first pick of each book in our learn to read series, because he was older and Mom wanted him to have an advantage. That did not make me happy.

2. But when we had moved through that phase, (past the torturous phonics lessons Mom insisted on even though I was doing quite fine by my own standards thank you very much) R. and I walked to the library nearly every day. I read every Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and Hardy boys they had, along with the Boxcar children, before moving on to devour anything the librarian would offer me.

3. Last year I read on a blog that someone was challenging people to read 50 books in one year. I know that in other stages of my life, I would have struggled to hit that, but in this one…according to my best guess (which is a low estimate, rather than over-stepping) I have read around 85 books so far this year, not counting children’s books read to young kids or any Bible study materials. And I still have two months.

4. I am secretly horrified at people who don’t re-read books. I remember when I was younger, a girl I know was getting rid of her Babysitter’s Club books, and I was distraught for her. I mean, I know I never read any of them (well, one, but it wasn’t a good experience) and they weren’t exactly The Witch of Blackbird Pond  (my paperback of which is currently residing in my monster purse, so I have something to do in, say, long polling lines) but…how can you part with your books? Even now I feel startled when friends of mine say that they don’t bother buying a book because once they finish it they’ll never pick it up again. Um. What?! What about when you’re sick, and nothing else would make you feel better but to curl up in a ball and re-read The Perilous Gard or Anne of Green Gables? How can you not want to ever just read that one part just one more time? Yes, you self-satisfied “there’s too much for me to read to waste my time re-reading” folks, I pity you.

5. I’m addicted to buying books. I think my mom doesn’t quite approve of this…but how am I supposed to feel at home without being surrounded by paper like my real home…at least I’m into used bookstores…

6. I don’t just read, I constantly play word-games with myself. I make anagrams of words around me in classes, in work meetings, in church…I rearrange letters, assign genders and colors to letters of the alphabet..

7. I read multiple books at one time. Sometimes I’m reading three or four and listening to one on CD in the car. I think this is related to my multiple language addiction as well, the more the merrier. It’s good for my brain.

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