A friend in South Carolina - hmm, possibly my only friend in that state - sent me this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/12/nyregion/12towns.html?_r=1 about a woman who vowed on Oct. 8, 2008 to read a book a day and discuss it in a blog: http://readallday.org/.
I won't do this often, but today you are privy to my top-secret email. This was my response to S. Carolina:
Hey in South Carolina! This is the perfect way to pique my shame. I have not been reading. It's been weeks since I closed my last book, and I would say that I have no time but there really is no such thing. I could open a book and keep it bedside to peruse instead of bedtime tv and midday Scrabble breaks. I could put a rack in the new bathroom and furnish liturature for the prolonged visits. I could even pop a borrowed cd into my cd player in the car and hear a story or two. I miss it and I have no excuse. I admire what this woman has done. I've ready about 20-30 of the books (so many titles from the past tickle my memory but do not give me a clear picture). I've read maybe 30% of the same authors, or more. She hit some of my favorites: Martha Grimes, my two favorite Japanese authors (they might as well be named Yamaguchi and Itchiguchi for the trouble I have recalling their names), my science fiction loves - Orson Scott Card and Ursula Le Guin and Octavia Butler (I'd read all of theirs including the ones she read), Joyce Carol Oates, Walter Mosley, Toni Morrison, Tana French. Overall, her list could be used for one of good varied reading, especially fiction. ...and E. Danticat! what a pearl she is. I'm still being reminded of things I've read and should read, favorite authors that I've abandoned in favor of - primarily - knitting and crochet.
What I didn't say to my friend was that I am going to the book shelf immediately. I will place a book on my night table, and it will be read. The last books I read were a young adult series about an alternate world with vampires and demon hunters: City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass. I finished them several weeks ago after my daughter recommended them, and I was impressed that they were much more intelligently conceived and written than the Twilight series. The plots were complex, the characters believable, and the sci-fi grounding held up nicely.
Of course, when I say I'm not reading that does not count knitting, crochet, and general crafting literature. Those books and periodicals are ever present, part of learning more about my trade and producing the goodies that I work on daily. That declaration also doesn't take into account the reading I do on the Internet daily. I might spend an hour going from blog to news to opinion site any time I open my laptop. This "machine" is tantalizingly full of information and entertainment, and if I allowed myself I could read all day right here. Not allowed, however. I'm going to the book shelf.