When I open the cover of a new book, everything but the world those new words create disappears. The characters truly become my friends… family even. I scream and plot revenge against those who do them wrong. With each turn of a page, I cross my fingers, hope and breathe a prayer to the author, that my initial predictions will prove to be true in the end.
I even have a favorite “reading chair”, and regardless of the room’s temperature, I cuddle up with a cozy blanket and a hot cup of tea. My ideal view while reading is some type of water setting; an ocean, a lake or even a stream. There is something about that particular setting that soothes my soul. The stories and the worlds I choose to read about vary greatly. Certain authors speak to me more than others do, yet I like to stay adventurous and open-minded regarding the genres I choose. It is the author’s ability to paint a picture which transports me into their world that I am addicted to.
My eyesight is not what it once was. It’s tragic. After reading for a few hours, I feel strain and fatigue set in behind my eyes. There are also days where my neurological vertigo will trigger a migraine. When my eyes feel strained or a migraine sets in, the last thing I want to do is open a book, especially one with small print.
I am old enough to have rented books on tape from various locations, such as the library and even from Cracker Barrel! I have spent many road trips, driving thousands of miles, listening and being transported to far off lands via audio tape. Yet, my preference continues to be reading the words on a page, while using my imagination to hear the inflections woven into each adventure. I will always keep a shelf in my home full of favorites, but will release the rest to friends, family and neighborhood libraries, so that the adventure will stay alive through the eyes and imaginations of others.
As my inner struggle and preferences resisted the audiobook options, I noticed that my busy schedule, weak eyesight and lack of “just the right environment” resulted in my finishing less books. So, how did I get over my reading perfectionism? I made a bargain with myself to be open to listening to an audio book, as well as reading a physical book. I now listen to an audiobook in the mornings regarding a business or non-fiction topic, and I keep my evenings open for pleasure or fictional reading. I read physical books, and many are streamed from an app. I keep my wishlist full of recommendations from others, and also leave room for spontaneous picks that speak to me at that time.
I try really hard not to compare the rate at which I read, what I read, or how often I read to others. If I have 10 minutes or an entire weekend dedicated to reading, I enjoy what my schedule allows. I find that like the tides of the ocean, time for reading ebbs and flows. I give myself grace to enjoy each surge of words as they come in low or high.