Reading Relationships

I so enjoyed all the visitors to Sunday Salon yesterday – thank you for stopping in and taking a moment to share your reading this week.  Isn’t it fun to think of us all in our little corners of the world, reading books together?

When I was very young, perhaps 12 or 13, I became fast friends with a very precocious classmate of mine.  A slender pixie of a girl, she had long reddish hair, and piercing dark eyes, mostly obscured by the stereotypical horned rimmed glasses.  She was generally shunned by the other children, but I found myself drawn to her use of “five dollar words” as our teacher called them.  She read constantly – even more than I – and the most amazing thing of all was the speed with which she read.  Later, I learned she had taken the Evelyn Wood Speed Reading Course (at the age of 8!!) and could zip through two or three novels in one day.

During the summer of that year, we became reading buddies.  She would show up on my doorstep each morning, a paper-bag full of books in hand.  I would take my own paltry stack out to the back yard, where we ensconced ourselves in metal chaise lounge folding chairs and read. 

For the whole day. 

Oh, I tried so hard to keep up with Raine during that summer, reading as fast as I could, my eyes racing across the pages of those little paperback novels . While she was reading the Bronte sisters and Peyton Place, I was stuck with the Cherry Ames series.  Occasionally, she would offer one of her finished books to me (if she thought I was ready to read it) but mostly she plowed through them and tossed them mercilessly aside.  Around noon, my mother would call us in for lunch – no one ever seemed to care where Raine spent her day -and while we ate our sandwich, she would talk about what she had been reading.

That reading relationship inspired me so much, and I longed to read as much as Raine, and be able to converse about what I’d read.

Well, many decades have passed, but I’ve probably never caught up with Raine (no matter the growing number of bookstacks and English literature courses).

However, I do enjoy this opportunity to have reading relationships with all of you.

Now if only we could spend the whole day lying on the chaise lounge in the backyard. (smiles)

Oh – I nearly forgot to tell you- SFP, from Pages Turned, was chosen to be the recipient of Jane Austen, A Life, by Claire Tomalin, in yesterday’s giveaway.  SFP, I’ll try not to read it too fast, so we can be reading it together.  I hope you will enjoy it.

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10 thoughts on “Reading Relationships

  1. What a beautiful friendship that must have been. I did not have friends who were as avid readers as myself; they all thought me a little strange for being such a bookworm.

  2. What a great story! I always wished to be one of those super fast readers (I had a similar friend in school), but now I think maybe I like savoring a book. I can’t imagine finishing that many books that quickly and having a “relationship” with the characters.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. This post reminded me of the wonderful times I used to have reading with my sister-in-law. We were young mothers together, living right down the street from each other. Both of our husbands, who were brothers, worked second shift. We would get together in the evenings, and as our four children (my two girls, her two boys) played, she and I sat on either end of the couch and read. Every so often, we’d look up and read aloud some passage that impressed us, then we’d go back to reading. Our grown children still remember and talk about this! I miss those times.

  4. What a great friendship. My siblings were all big readers like me. I remember building a fort with my sister and lying around, just reading. We fought so much when we were younger, but that shared activity sure brought us together.

  5. It’s wonderful to have reading companions…I had such a diverse group of friends and only one was a reader — and she read unusual books, she was an unusual thinker, but she sparked me and I know I sparked her.

    You brought back some happy memories with this post — Cherry Ames — I have not thought about those books in forever!!

  6. There is nothing like being able to sit and read in the company of another knowing that eventually you will be able to sit and talk about what you’ve read, especially if that talk takes place over a good meal. My dream is to be able to afford a big enough house in beautiful countryside to have room for friends to come and stay and take a few days away just to read, listen to music and talk about it. Unless I win the lottery I’m never going to bring that dream to fulfilment, but……..

  7. I hope you and Raine are still friends! I have a longstanding “book friend” (well, that’s just one of the things we share in common) who lives far from Michigan. Each year we plow through a variety of books together — history, novel, biography, mystery — and form our own little long-distance book club. I have other friends who “read” but there’s nothing like one you can “read with.” Then talk! That’s the best!

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