Polygamy or Monogamy?

I don’t know of any writers who didn’t start out as avid readers. I can clearly remember standing in front of my kindergarten class reading The Three Little Pigs out loud for a star on my reading paper. Sometime after that, I had to stay home because I was sick, and my mom bought me a hardback copy of Black Beauty. You know, those slick covered books like Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys were published in? Yeah, that kind of hardback. I didn’t know the name Rob Roy, or the significance of a horse with that name in the story, but I loved every word.

I started out monogamous to one book at a time. I was young and had shoulders and arms that were uninjured, so I could take my book with me just about everywhere. Slowly, that changed, because I developed a need to read at any moment. Especially in the bathroom. Sometimes at someone else’s house, I would be so desperate to not waste the 4 minutes while I peed that I would read the labels on their shampoo or air freshener.

Then it started to be an issue to carry a book to the dining room at dinner time, and remember to take it back to the bed room. So I would have one book in the bathroom, one in the dining room, and one in the bedroom.

The next phase started when I rode public transportation more often, and when I spent oodles of time waiting somewhere for someone. I carried paperbacks with me at all times. I looked for free books everywhere, picked them up for pennies at the thrift stores, and traded with friends.

A quick aside, I loved getting beautiful hardbacks for a dollar or so at the thrift stores, but occasionally I would cause myself more frustration than anything. I got a hardback copy, a read hardback with a dust jacket and everything, of Stephen R. Donaldson’s The Mirror of Her Dreams, book 1 in the Mordant’s Need series. Score! But I never, ever found the second book, A Man Rides Through, in hardback and had to settle for an uneven match there.

I joined Romance Writers of America and after one year or so of just hanging out, volunteered to be in charge of the used book sales. (Sadly, due to tax laws and other grumpy things, we can no longer sell anything at the meetings) I hauled several crates to and from each meeting every month. And I found many many many romances that looked good, at 3 for a dollar. I still have some of those, unread nearly 20 years later. Even with reading multiple books, I can’t keep up with what I want to read.

Now we are in the wonderful age of an entire library full of books on a small device weight a few ounces to a pound. My husband and I each got a Nook. Then we put Nook and Kindle apps on our smart phones. And we got a tablet which also has both apps. I can’t leave home without a book.

So here is my current reading list: Well, I can’t leave out Scribophile where I am reading and crititquing many stories. And I can do this on my breaks at work too. On my phone, I am reading Mr. Donaldson’s The Power that Preserves, the last book in the first trilogy of the Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever series. On the tablet, I am reading Book 4, The Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon in her Outlander series. In the bedroom, I have a collection of short stories, romances, by some pretty good authors. In the bathroom, I have Shadow Heart by Laura Kinsale. And Mike is reading Cryoburn to me at night, Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan books being one of our shared loves. We read the whole series in the last few months from start to finish, in chronological order, and will have to choose another series in a month or so. We’ve done most of the Terry Pratchett Discworld series, and some Neil Gaiman books, as well as other unusual things that strike our fancy.
Besides these enthralling stories, I have The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd at work for trips to the ladies’ room that are going to take more than a few minutes. And for my commute, I listen to audio books, currently a second listening to Up in The Air by Walter Kirn. Next up when I finish that set is About a Boy.

So there you have it, I am no longer monogamous thanks to the temptation of so many available books in various formats. I started a thread with this theme on Scribophile, and amazingly, the answers were as varied as the wonderful people on that site. Some people are loyal to one book at a time, some can’t stand to stay true for very long.

Looking forward to any feedback you wish to share! Have a good week.


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