Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Why I Read, II
I read. When I meet people who read, I know it instantly, and I like them. They can have a million other likable qualities, and unlikeable ones, and I will love them if they love to read. While I was on vacation I finished two books, and started a third.
I started Three Cups of Tea. I don't love it so far, but will likely finish. It's just the way I'm built. I read People of the Book. I liked it. In fact, I even loved parts of it. If you like books and libraries and the people that keep both alive you will probably like it, too. I read Water for Elephants and I LOVED IT!
Water for Elephants got inside my head and I have a few things I want to say about it. Upon finishing the book I decided to issue the following wish.
When I am old, and I mean really, really, really old, I hope I can remember the happy, amazing details of my little life. For it is these memories that I will watch, rather than T.V. when my kids ship me off to the nursing home. I hope I remember every detail of my husband's face, particularly the first time I realized how long and thick his eyelashes are. I hope I can recall the very squeal of my children's unabashed laughter. And I hope I can remember what really good food tastes like. (Actually I hope I can always eat really good food, but if I'm forced to eat Jell-O I want to imagine it's tiramisu and believe myself.)
When I am old I hope I can endure the patronizing ways of my children and undoubtedly their wives. I'm pretty sure I'll know when they think they are stooping to my level, I just hope I can pretend I don't care. When they do something nice for me I hope I can't tell they are doing it because it just might be the last time.
When I am old I hope I can find someone kind to usher in the very end with me. Someone who permits me to grasp the very last of my dignity on my way out. Someone who speaks to me as if I am a grown up, but with the patience they may offer a child. I would like if this person was my husband, or my children, but in the end... I really just hope there is someone.
And last, when I am old, and I do mean right up until the very last moment I live, I hope that I can read. I hope I will remember what I have read, what I am reading, and what I want to read next. What will I do if I can't read? Seriously, what will I do?
PHOTO NOTE: Here I am, with the person who taught me how to read.