As a child, I grew up with books around all the time. My mom actually forced my sister and I to sit down a couple hours a week and read. I was still in elementary school when I read my first Stephen King novel. Every year on my birthday, my mother would make sure to include the hardback release of the new Stephen King book. I do admit – I didn’t stray too far from his writings. I have read a couple Dean Koontz books and several books of short horror stories by various writers, but it was the very detailed madness that he wrote that I was always most drawn to.
…but I’m rambling. This post isn’t about a particular writer. It’s about reading in general. Once my parents got divorced and my whole life spiraled into disarray, I lost my intimate relationship with reading for several years. I was too busy trying to make money and help my family. My mother was forced to support herself and me after being supported by my father’s income for almost 20 years and my sister had just gotten back from living in a group home for pregnant teens and was with a guy who had no ambition in life, but talked a good game. So, when a teen boy feels like he needs to become a man and help take care of his mother, his sister and help contribute in the raising of his sister’s kids, when is there time to sit down and enjoy a good book?
Fast forward almost another 2 decades. Here I am now with a job that requires several hours a day of me locked in a room by myself trying to keep everything clean, so I can’t even allow anyone else in the room with me for conversation because that could compromise the sanitary environment that I have to maintain. At my last job, I worked as a commercial truck driver and when I would deliver steel to locations in Pennsylvania and New York, there were many hours of quiet time in the truck that I learned to fill with audio books. This was a fantastic change for me. Now, I have carried this idea over to the new job and am loving every minute of it.
There are points in my work process that require me to just sit and wait for about 15 minutes at a time, so I also bring a hard copy book in the room with me. Each day at work now, I switch back and forth from audiobook to physical reading and I am catching up on all the stuff that I have been wanting to read for a long time. Just this week, I have finished When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris, Dante’s Inferno by Sarah Lovett (the serial bomber one, not the biblical one), started Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson and am almost finished with Freakonomics by Stephen Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Next in queue are Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, Physics Of The Impossible by Michio Kaku, The Rum Diary by Hunter S Thompson and I might go for the full cast version of American Gods by Neil Gaiman on audio. I’m loving this. It’s like a full exercise regiment for my brain and I can’t get enough of it.
All this information about religion, economics and sociology is sparking some serious interest in me. It makes me feel like writing one myself now.