Today’s guest post comes from Lindsay Denton, who lives in San Antonio, TX where she works full-time as a speech-language pathologist. Her husband, Jay, graduates from dental school this summer. When she’s not working or holed up somewhere with a book, you can find her snapping photos, doing something musical, trying (and failing) to organize her home, baking and eating sweets, or writing. She blogs at mylifeintune.blogspot.com.
One of my favorite memories from when my husband, Jay, and I were on our honeymoon is of the two of us lounging on hammocks by the ocean reading a novel to each other. At the time, I remember thinking to myself, “What a fun tradition this will be!” I made tentative mental lists of all the books we would read aloud together. I envisioned the two of us, fifty years down the road, cuddled up on the couch in front of a fire as we read, my plans filmed in the rosy tints of honeymoon bliss.
I have always loved books. Before I was literate, my parents would tirelessly read me stacks upon stacks of them. When I could string letters together into words on my own, I began to devour books (in a figurative sense, unlike my younger sister Sara, who has always been more of a literalist). In second grade, I would check out ten Nancy Drew books from the library and have them all finished less than a week later. This had less to do with being a fast reader than it did with the simple fact that I could not pry my nose out of a book to save my life (or get my chores done, or play with friends, or do my homework…).
I wish I could say that time has mellowed me and I can now ration out an interesting book over a week or two, but alas, such is not the case. I once hid in the bathroom for hours with one of the Work and the Glory books, reading through the steam as I let the shower run into an empty tub. I read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy during finals week in college—you can probably guess how my grades turned out that semester. More recently than I care to admit, I camped on the couch in my pajamas with a nest of tissues, homemade chocolate truffles, blankets, and a stack of books gathered around me; I growled when Jay came near, completely flaked on my church and academic responsibilities, didn’t shower for a full three days, and poured myself a bowl of cereal when I remembered to eat. And it was just today that I read the new Cassandra Clare book at red lights on my way to work (and only got honked at twice).
Unfortunately, this aspect of my character does not generally apply to “good” books (i.e. non-fiction, self-improvement, educational, spiritual, or most “classic” literature), the Brussels sprouts and Metamucil of the book family. On the occasions I do read a “classic” or a biography, I tote it around proudly, subtly flashing the cover at people I think might be impressed. My true literary diet, however, consists of the written equivalent of chocolate cake and bon bons—mass amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates—with an occasional dose of printed heroin (Dan Brown comes to mind). I often hide these books in my purse and secretly dread being asked what I’m reading: how do you retain credibility once a room of co-workers finds out the book you’re devouring with your lunch is a kids’ fantasy novel? (It was Fablehaven, and it was worth it.)
Jay and I have finished one or two books together since our honeymoon nearly three years ago. Jay and I have also started over ten books together since our honeymoon. I wish I could say that we didn’t finish the books together because we just got too busy or because Jay was a stinker and would read with a flashlight under the covers after I fell asleep. I wish I could say that.
My name is Lindsay, and I am a compulsive reader.