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?
A Goldilocks reader I am not, although I find the definition rather endearing. Books are as much a part of my life as food and drink, and I'm perfectly content to indulge my palate anywhere, any time, with no preamble or formal preparation.
As a child, I was likely the talk of the neighborhood, wandering along the familiar route to elementary school with my nose stuck between the covers of a book. And though I don't read while driving, I keep a book of short stories and essays in the car to peruse while waiting in traffic jams or at the drive through.
Reading is the last thing I do at night, the book often falling with a thud on my face because I couldn't relinquish it before falling asleep. And reading is the first thing I do in the morning, propped up in bed with a comforting blanket wrapped around my shoulders and a steaming mug of coffee on the table beside me.
I read while waiting in the doctor's or dentist's, while waiting for the teakettle to boil or the coffee to drip, while standing in line, while eating my lunch (or dinner if I'm alone).
I read when I'm happy, with a joyous abandon, and I read when I'm miserable, to distract me from suffering.
I read on planes and trains, in the car when I'm a passenger, in hotel lobbies and airport terminals.
And yes, I read in the bathroom, albeit mostly in the tub, whilst sunken neck deep in fragant bubbles.
I just read.