I read in my favorite chair. I read on the front porch. I read while my husband watches dumb stuff on TV. I read while I cook supper. I’ll admit to anyone other than my children and the Marshall County Police Department that when out of control, I do, on occasion, read while driving.
It’s an addiction. I’m drawn to a book by the fragrance of the pages. My hands shake a bit as I open the cover and crack the spine. No matter how many times I tell myself that I’m only going to read one chapter, I’m fated to a day-long reading binge after the first paragraph.
A prettily turned phrase will suck me into a story every time. A sympathetic character and a well-crafted plot chain me to it. I turn pages in a stupor while my children wander the house hungry and neglected.
As a long-term read-a-holic, I have discovered that I have at least 12 chapters before most brand-name diapers turn to mush. Letting my kids miss a meal or two will get me an extra 200-250 pages.
I’ll admit it. I have a problem. Books tempt my flesh. But, they also feed my soul. I think it could shrivel up and die without them.
I’m not the only reader who spends her days craving a book fix. There are many of us who have volumes stashed in every corner of our homes and who walk around with paperbacks hidden in our purses and pockets.
“She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live” – Annie Dillard
“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” – Anna Quindlen
“I read my eyes out and can’t read half enough . . . The more one reads the more one sees we have to read.” – John Adams
Perhaps, at some point, I will learn to read in moderation. But, I doubt it. Close a book on an unfinished story? Leave a friend I met in its pages dangling in mid-plot? I could never do that.
What I can do is implement my 12-step addiction program. I can quietly sneak away from my husband and my children and quickly climb the 12 steps to my bedroom where I can crawl to the far side of the bed with a book clinched in my teeth and hide there while I consume a few of its pages.
My name is Leigh Ann, and I am a read-a-holic.