My childhood bestie, Care, reminds me from time to time about how it used to go down.
She'd come next-door at the cottage on a summer morning and ask if I wanted to do something: swimming, running around á la wild mustangs, making miniature ballrooms in the field, catching rabbits.
I remember spending those summers perpetually in motion, but evidently there were too many times when my answer was the dreaded, "Nah, I'm reading."
So far anyhow.
Some years I read less, but mostly I read a lot. Quickly.
I go heavy on novels, light on memoirs. I snack on essays and take sparse sips of poetry. I almost never read biographies. (That 5th-grade assignment on Betsy Ross <shudder>)
Generalized history gets a pass, but I do like specific topics (The Black Death in 1348, anyone? Rats in New York? ) and anything natural history-ish.
Stacks of books sprout wherever I perch: volumes I mean to read, books I have started, tomes I use for reference.
When Mr. Linton and I downsized, I culled about a third of my collection and still needed to rent a scissor-lift to get the rest of them up the stairs.
Sidebar Truth: While waiting for the delivery of the scissor-lift, and knowing the advantageous tide would wait for no book, Mr. Linton trotted the literal ton of books up stairs on tireless feet without a single complaint. Bless him.
I have reading recommendations the way pharmaceutical reps have sample packs and cronuts -- with roughly the same goal. Minus the commission.
Goodreads, which is connected in the cross-platform sales way of the modern world to Amazon.com (which is to say, Amazon owns the "social cataloguing" website), has become my preferred way to keep track of titles.
Instead of jotting down book recommendations on scraps of paper and then scotch-taping them someplace handy, a user can type in the name of the book (or a close approximation) or the name of the author and save it to the shelf of Books to Read.
Were I a slightly more nimble consumer, I could obtain any book with a few keystrokes, but my connections are not so tight.
Diversifying my stream: I read physical books that I buy. I read physical books that I borrow from the library. My sister (bless her!) gave me one of her extra Kindles, so I read on that, or on the iPad. We listen to books on CD or as podcasts or digital files.
I whittled a few titles off the "Books to Read" list recently and discovered one of my favorite bookchoices for the year. Some friends may be getting a copy of
The Fly Trap by Fredrik Sjöberg
Like all the best memoirs, the book –– slim, but promising to continue in another two volumes –– is not so much about Sjöberg's insects, but about what he has learned from his pursuit of them.
I should be more embarrassed at my giddy fan-girl response to Sjöberg's story, but as my companions will attest: I cheerfully read aloud whole pages for their enjoyment as well as my own.
And –– o joy! –– migraines can last for days.
Migraines arrive as a result of some weird blip of electrical impulses and vascular spasms (or something) in the brain.
The mechanism is "not completely understood," though there is a strong genetic component. Every few years there's a breakthrough in understanding. I used to keep up.
I am officially no longer a spring chicken.
I remember how it happened, actually, but the point is that I have waited patiently but the migraine train is still damn running on my tracks.
Recently I found myself a new doctor. A young one, whom I can only hope to outlast.
And so begins the search for effective treatment. I am happy to report that the MRI reveals that my brain is right where I left it. Even better -- no inappropriate growths are evident.
Young doc and I have embarked on a series of prescription medications. We are steering away from the ones that make me numb, tingly, or which impel me ask Jeff to keep a close watch on me.
Young doc has updates and a handful of suggestions to try. Which we discuss by e-mail. Brave new world. We have high hopes and a neurologist to visit.
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