sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

September 5, 2007

no goldilocks am i
posted by soe 11:49 pm

This week’s Booking Through Thursday question (posted early on Deb’s blog) is one that interests me, so I thought I’d take a crack at it:

Okay, so the other day, a friend was commenting on my monthly reading list and asked when I found the time to read. In the ensuing discussion, she described herself as a “goldilocks” when it comes to reading — she needs to have everything juuuuuust right to be able to focus. This caught my attention because, first, I thought that was a charming way of describing the condition, but, two, while we’ve talked about our reading habits, this is an interesting wrinkle. I’d never really thought about it that way.

So, this is my question to you — are you a Goldilocks kind of reader? Do you need the light just right, the background noise just so loud but not too loud, the chair just right, the distractions at a minimum? Or can you open a book at any time and dip right in, whether it’s for twenty seconds, while waiting for the kettle to boil, or indefinitely, like while waiting interminably at the hospital — as long as the book is open in front of your nose, you’re happy to read?

Ha! I’m anything but a Goldilocks reader. While I sometimes can’t read a particular book at a certain moment, there’s rarely a moment when I can’t read at all.

And I’m a fully absorbed reader. Mum used to ask me to do chores and would come back an hour later to yell at me for leaving them undone. “When did you ask me to do that?” I’d complain. “I never heard you.” But, she’d point out, I’d replied, so clearly I had. Since then I’ve discovered the part of me that will talk to you while I’m reading is the same part of me that will pick up the phone in the middle of the night and converse logically and lucidly with you while the conscious part of my brain is still occupied with the task at hand (in that case, sleeping).

I read while I eat. I’m learning to read while I knit. Hell, I even read while I walk home from work. There is always a book in my bag and piles around the Burrow, just waiting for me to decide I cannot wait a second longer before opening it up and diving in.

So, no Goldilocks reading for me, thank you very much. I’m an all books all the time kind of girl.

Category: books. There is/are 5 Comments.

how i spent my holiday
posted by soe 1:15 am

I admit it: I frittered away Saturday and Sunday.

Sure, I watched an old movie and chatted with Gramma and went to the farmers’ market and rode my bike, but generally I just curled up on the couch and slept.

When Monday rolled around, I knew I needed to get a move on. It’s one thing to doze through a weekend. They roll around again pretty frequently. But a precious Monday holiday is something else and must not be wasted!

So when Rudi left for his bike ride, I didn’t go back to bed. I got up, made a yogurt parfait, and dragged my rocking chair over to my reading nook to tackle Rick Riordan’s Sea of Monsters. I spent several hours rocking away, perfectly content with the world.

As it approached the noon hour, I found myself without lunch plans and took myself off to downtown to dally away the early afternoon. Two exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery were set to close Monday and I wanted to make sure I had a chance to view them before they went.

Harry Benson: Being There” was the one that really drew me. It’s the sort of exhibit that I like, where the placards give you a hint about the background or the artist’s thought process or reaction to the piece. Benson’s career is a long one, spanning from Winston Churchill to the present. He has covered everything from the Beatles invasion to RFK’s assassination to a 9/11 Manhattan to the Sudanese crisis. I particularly loved where he confesses that he was irritated to having been plucked from some other story to cover the then-up-and-coming but not-yet-famous Beatles.

Great Britons: Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery, London” was the other exhibit of interest. We’ve never visited the British National Portrait Gallery, so all of the works were new to me. Many of the portraits were of people I’d never heard of — heroes from British empire days — but others were more contemporary or fell into my areas of interest. Obviously represented were the recent royalty and heads of Parliament. Others were famous actors, poets, dramatists, sports heroes, and writers. The piece I liked best was of J.K. Rowling. I will admit to not realizing it was her when I first saw it, but I was instead drawn in by the different media used to create the work.

I also scooted upstairs to see the Champions exhibit, which is part of the NPG’s permanent collection of sports-related portraiture. The balcony which housed the exhibit was deserted, leaving me alone to contemplate Arthur Ashe’s tennis racket right across from a painting of him.

Realizing that I was famished, I decided to investigate Elephant and Castle, a English-style pub downtown. I’m sad to say that I was unimpressed by my bland cod sandwich, but the fries were hot, the restaurant was open on a holiday, and there was abundant outdoor seating under umbrellas, leaving me free to enjoy a breeze as I finished my book.

Rudi and I returned home to head to the local outdoor pool for one last swim before it closed for the season. It’s disappointing to have the pool close so early when the weather would be conducive to keeping it open for the rest of September, but I’m sure there’s some reason I’ve not thought of that justifies doing so. I will note that I will not miss the overweight men in undersized bikini bathing suits sunning themselves. One man yesterday sported a tiny white number that left nothing to the imagination, particularly after the mandatory pre-pool shower and his splay-legged position on the side of the pool. So maybe it’s better for the pool to close now after all.

We concluded our romp through summer activities with an ice cream cone and a walk yesterday evening. Rudi opted for Kalhua; I for my usual raspberry with fudge swirl. The ice cream dripped down our hands as the sun dipped toward the horizon, bringing to an end the summer season.

Category: dc life. There is/are 2 Comments.