Wednesday, February 25, 2015

On Letting Your Freak Flag Fly

I've had a Goodreads account for a while. I love the idea of telling people what I'm reading, talking about reading, sharing good books. 

You may have noticed that I said I love the idea.

My account has sat, untouched and unused, pretty much since the day I set it up.

Because there's this thing about my reading, and that thing is this:

It's not... Exactly ... Normal.

I don't recall learning to read. I don't remember learning to walk, either, though, and of the two skills? I'm much better at the former, though I suspect that the latter would be improved if I didn't so often attempt it with my nose in a book.

The reality is this: I taught myself, somehow, and I did it before preschool. There has always been reading in my life. It is like air, water, and food, and just as necessary as other items on this list.

That is, perhaps, weird,  but it's not the WEIRD weird bit.

No, the WEIRD weird bit is the pace at which I read.

That's the part that makes me a freak.

It's human nature to try to impose reason on things we don't understand. 

It's not super enjoyable when you are that which is not understood.


"I don't think you're really reading. I think you're skimming." (Nope, I only do that with cookbooks. And math texts.)

"Did you take a speed reading course? You must have." (No.)

"Is this your thing? Like Rainman? Do you have Asperger's?" (I guess that's possible. It might explain some other things about me as well.)

"Could you NOT read ahead?" (spoken by every teacher ever and... I'm sorry, I had too much time and got bored so I kept going)

"You're a freak." 

"That's so weird."

"You're a freak."


When someone says, " I wish I could do that," I think, no, you don't. Unless you like feeling like a freak. Unless you like being called one.


How fast DO I read, is the question. I don't exactly know, so here's an anecdote:

I got home at 11:18 this morning.

At about noonish I decided to read Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking. I stopped at one point and took a bath. I also called my mom and worked on a puzzle, so... Not nonstop reading.

It's 336 pages long.

I finished it about an hour ago.


I'm obviously a little angsty about all of this. Which is why I never used Goodreads. I get enough grief about the reading thing from people who know me well and love me. I didn't want any more. I have enough wackiness in my life without inviting extra wackiness.

But The Fella uses it,  and I know I like to see what people are reading.

And. Speaking of The Fella? He appreciates that I love to read because he loves to read too, and makes me feel ... Not so weird about it. 

Like it's okay.

And if I devour books? He just says, "did you eat all of the words with your eyes?" And we laugh.

So maybe?  I can fly this freak flag. And if you're on Goodreads?  You should find me.

I can probably recommend a book or two.

To read at whatever pace you wish.

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