I like to think that I am different than other readers, that the quirky, insane way I practice reading makes me somehow unique and individual. But if you have read very much of my goofy little blog, you probably realize already that I am a deeply deluded idiot most of the time. So let me explain a little about how I go about reading.
- I am basically guilty of reading anything and everything I can get my hands on. And the stupid internet puts an infinite variety in your hands. Some of it is toxic and probably will kill me… or land me in jail. (Does the NSA really care about what Mickey is reading?)
- Here is an example of my internet reading this morning; Diane Ravitch’s Education Blog , An Article from British Naturism, Rachel Poli’s Article about Fantasy Writing, and Naked Carly Art’s post about creating a painting. My browser history portrays me at times as some kind of communist brainiac pornography-loving terrorist painter or something. I hope the NSA is using telepaths to investigate me, because the reasons I look at a lot of this stuff is important. It is a good thing I don’t write mystery novels so they would be upset down in the NSA break room about my searching out creative ways to kill people.
- Besides being Eclectic with a capital “E”, I am also obsessive. My daily reading project now is Garrison Keillor’s novel, Lake Wobegon Days.
I only spend about an hour a day reading this novel, but I am totally immersed in it. I am living inside that book, remembering the characters as real people and talking to them like old friends. I tried to read that book before and couldn’t make progress because I like so much to listen to Keillor tell stories on A Prairie Home Companion on the radio and it just wasn’t the same entirely in print. When he tells a story, he pauses a lot. In fact, that moment when he stops to let you reflect on what he just said is critical to the humor because you have to stop and savor the delicious irony of the scene. His pauses are funnier than the words. Man, if he just stood there and didn’t talk at all, you would probably die laughing from it. So, in order to get into the book, I had to read it with Garrison’s voice in my head, pausing frequently the way he does. Now the stories of Clarence Bunsen and Pastor Inqvist break me up all over again. I will soon acquire and read everything he has ever written. I truly love Garrison Keillor.
So there is a description of how strange a practicing reader I am. Think about how you read. Is the NSA watching you too? Do you ever read two books at the same time? Do you read everything and anything in front of you? If you are self-reflective at all, even if you are not pathological about it the way Mickey is, you may well decide that as strange as my reading habits are, they are probably normal compared to yours.