By Kerry McNabb
Reading is, to me, a completely engrossing activity in
general. I tend to be an intense reader, becoming completely
engulfed by a book. I prefer to read a book all at once in its
entirety, regardless of length. Because I love to take in a book all
at once, I tend to be completely immersed, and completely oblivious
to anything else. While Im in the middle of the book the whole my
attention is spent on that work. I tend to be an impatient reader
and it rarely takes me more than a day to finish any book. Only
after the fact can I savor the writing, the story, or the
characters, so it often ends that I re-read a book or parts of a
book countless times. Depending on my mood, I find a familiar book
just as (if not more) enjoyable than a new one.
I also tend to read books in groups or sets, by author,
or genre. If Ive at all enjoyed an author I tend to have read all
of his/her works and often all in a row. Or, Ill become interested
in a certain genre or type of book and for a while all my selections
will fall into that category.
Because of the way I like to read my books I tend to do
my major pleasure reading on vacations, whether sitting on the dock
in New Hampshire, or on the beach at Nantucket, or curled up in a
large chair. I go on vacation prepared to read a lot, and I look
forward to being able to indulge myself. Still, during the year, I
read whenever I have a spare moment. There are certain times when I
just crave a book - and though sometimes this can be distracting -
often it provides just the break I needed.
Although I love variety and will really read anything, I
do have my guilty passions - I adore mysteries, science
fiction/fantasy, and childrens literature. Mysteries I have loved
since childhood and Nancy Drew. I read them in mass quantity.
Science fiction and fantasies I probably got initially from my
father, and I still look to him for suggestions. I have always had a
soft spot for Childrens lit. and I dont think having younger
siblings is the cause of it (as I am far more likely to read
anything than they are.) But my pleasure reading is by no means
relegated to these categories and I will read anything that strikes
my fancy or that has been recommended to me.
When Im choosing a book I really look for anything that
catches my eye, whether it is a familiar title (from a
recommendation) or a familiar author, or an interesting first page.
I often go shopping in my parents bookshelves - they have a
selection and tremendous variety. (I come from a family of voracious
readers.) But I can, and do, spend hours in the bookstore. Because I
like to re-read my books I like to own them, rather than borrow them
from the library.
I really cannot remember not liking, not wanting to
read. I have always enjoyed reading as long as I can remember and my
habits regarding my books have remained fairly constant. I have
always read a fair amount, always read my books whole (all at once),
and focused in on certain types of books. Today perhaps, I read with
a bit more variety, but little else has changed. Certainly my love
of books and m love of reading has remained constant.
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