[— Karen Myers —]
That’s an easy one for me to answer. I’m an obligatory reader. If my eyes are open and not otherwise occupied, I’m reading.
It’s always been this way. My older brother and I had organized conspiracies vs the parents, and so I wouldn’t rat him out when he took their other car out for a ride when they went out to dinner, and he wouldn’t keep me from staying up late reading under the hall light when he was supposed to be babysitting me. It was a good deal while it lasted (until they finally caught him one memorable evening).
When I was circa 8, I had insomnia that woke me up every night for several hours. I learned to raid the house for books (all kinds) and to stuff a towel under the bedroom door to keep the light from leaking out and betraying my activities. Flashlight batteries were too difficult for me to acquire, but my closet door had an automatic light that let me read mostly beneath the covers.
My parents were generally oblivious to all of this. Mind you, it wasn’t until I was 10 that anyone realized I couldn’t see the big “E” on an eye chart and glasses entered my life (who knew you could tell when someone was looking at you by where their eyeballs were pointed…? It was fascinating finally seeing what whistling looked like, and how it was done.)
I never went anywhere, and I mean anywhere, without at least the current book and a spare, and my gravest disappointment was motion sickness if I tried to read in a car (had to count things, instead). From 4th grade on, I never went to school without several books to last me the day, since the classes were so boring. Thankfully, my teachers were pretty much amenable to a pact along the lines of letting me read in class as long as I got A’s and agreed not to disrupt the class with sarcastic remarks. Another good deal, and that one lasted until college.
Does it matter what you read? I don’t think so. The age-inappropriate material mostly just washed off me (with the exception of The Painted Bird which remains an abomination at any age).
I have met people who don’t read. (What is wrong with them?)
What are your stories about reading? Obsessive? Choosy? Hidden? Broad or narrow? (Cereal boxes don’t count…)