Reading is one of the simple pleasures in life. I consider it a blessing as well. I’ve loved reading since I can remember. When I was a child, I remember reading anything I could get my hands on, books, comic books, fliers, labels, signs, shampoo bottles … . When I was sick, my aunts would buy me coloring books and books, and I fondly remember a book that had colorful pictures of all kinds of animals, and a brief information about each animal. It was the first time I learned about an okapi, and an ornitorinc. Look them up, these are some of the most unusual animals on our planet. The memory of those pictures never left my mind.
When I read I don’t put a number on how many books a year I have to read. It becomes a chore and ruins the experience for me. Instead, I carefully select what I want to read, usually according to my mood. Also, I don’t hurry to read the latest best seller. I approach reading with ceremonial disposition. It is a special time, an enjoyable and pleasurable experience. To be able to transport myself to a world created by a writer’s imagination, and visualize it, almost being inside it, is something quite special and amazing, a miracle of the mind, a connection between writer/author and reader. Isn’t that wonderful?
A well written story captures my interest. One that flows effortlessly in my mind as I read, and also, one that paints vivid images, whether via description or character’s recounts. I enjoy a medium pace, not to fast, but also not so slow that I might lose interest. I have put down books and never pick them up again because I became bored reading an extremely long description in almost every other chapter or too many twists and turns that made the story “too made up” for my taste. Other readers might enjoy this, of course. I enjoy a story that has balance between description and dialog. Contrary to popular opinion, you can tell me from time to time, you don’t have to show me all the time. It becomes exhausting. As a reader, balance is the key for me. Stories that go into too much technical detail tend to bore me, unless the information is crucial for understanding the story. If the lingo is being thrown without a purpose or direct correlation, I start skipping pages. When I catch myself skipping chapters, I stop reading the book. Many years ago, I would force myself to finish a book that I was not enjoying only because I had started reading it. To reach the ending was a must, almost a sacrilege not to do it. It was pure torture. Through the years, I made peace with my reader-self and finally understood that it is fine to stop reading a book that I am not enjoying. There are many books I want to enjoy, and life is too short.