I’d rather be reading

Posted by Gail Gabrielson at 8 February 2012

Category: Memoir

Tags: ,

Some time ago people were sporting bumper stickers on their cars telling what they’d rather be doing: “I’d rather be fishing,” “I’d rather be hiking,” or “I’d rather be golfing.” If I were to put a bumper sticker on my vehicle, it would read, “I’d rather be reading.”

I thought about that this morning when I was getting ready for work — my day job, that is. Wouldn’t it be nice if all I had to do all day long was read?  I wouldn’t have to watch the clock as I showered, let the dog out, put on my make-up, and tried to come up with a suitable ensemble for the day. I wouldn’t have to start the car and go out into the cold and jockey for position on the highway.

No, instead I would take the dog for a walk around the block, have breakfast while Charlie ate his dog food, and then I would settle down with a book and a cup of tea. I wouldn’t have to get dressed up; I could wear pajamas all day long. Eh, I’d get dressed anyway.

At noon, I’d take a break, have lunch, let Charlie out and play with him for a while, and then I’d take a nap. Yes, I like napping. It’s a healthy thing. That way I can stay up longer at night. I’d like to be more of a Night Owl, but HighGuy is an Early Bird, so to keep the peace, I converted.

After my nap, I’d do some housework — dishes and vacuuming can be therapeutic. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. It’s done for the day or the week, as the case may be. Perhaps I’d tackle another project: re-covering the seats of my dining room chairs or refinishing the other two oak chairs.

After an hour of that, I’d be ready to read again. Maybe I’d start cooking again, and start supper, but I doubt it. HighGuy has all that in hand so well that I’d rather not mess with it. He makes the best oven-fried chicken. He knows to the minute how long it takes to steam vegetables.

So I’d be back to reading. I’d post book reviews of all the books I’ve read, and maybe log onto my Facebook page. That’s always a time-killer. I’d probably have to limit myself to an hour and no more, or I’d get nothing else done all day.

What would I read? Everything. Anything. I already have a stack of books waiting for me. I have mysteries, romances, poetry, thrillers, a little fantasy, a few nonfiction, and some non-genre literary fiction. I’d mix it up, reading different genres so I wouldn’t get confused about what I’ve read and what I haven’t.

Writing reviews of the books helps me sort them out. I used to find an author I liked, and then read everything that author had written. I used to look for a prolific author, just so I wouldn’t have to think about what I wanted to read next. No more.

Book club has really broadened my choices in books. I would never have picked up some of the books on my own, so I appreciate getting someone else’s choices. We read a little of everything, too. I’ve found that nonfiction isn’t boring if you find the right topic.

The only snag in my dream here is that I haven’t found a way to get paid for reading books. I don’t live in a big city where I could apply to be a proofreader for a publisher of novels — I don’t know if they hire people to do that. I did join LinkedIn, thinking I could become a free-lance editor, but that will take a while. I don’t dare quit my day job quite yet.

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