A New Reader

“Oh, you’re reading!” Stephanie, our bright young waitress exclaimed as she stopped by the shady table where we were happily ensconced in our respective books.   “I should have brought my own book in today, things have been so slow.”

Ahh, I thought happily.  Another ravenous reader!

“She never goes anywhere without a book,” my husband said, casting his head in my direction.

“I don’t either, anymore,” she replied.  “It’s my New Year’s Resolution – to read one book a month.”

Trying not to let my disappointment show, for one book a month does hardly a ravenous reader make, I smiled encouragingly at her.  “What have you read so far?” I inquired.

“Well, I’m already behind,” she admitted, “I’m still on my first book- but I’m really loving it!”


“And what book is it?” I continued.

Me Talk Pretty One Day,” she responded, a questioning lilt to her voice.

“Oh, yes,” I smiled, “David Sedaris!”

Stephanie’s face registered her pleased suprise.  “You’ve heard of it!” she cried.

“Of course,” I replied, “but I haven’t read it.  Do you think I should?”

“It’s just fabulous!” she enthused.  “He’s a wonderful writer, and it’s funny and sad all at the same time.  You should definitely read it!”

“Then I will,” I replied with a smile.

Perhaps there’s hope for her yet.


10 thoughts on “A New Reader

  1. This may not actually gladden your heart but your waitress reminds me of a candidate I interviewed for our English programme. We were getting pretty much nowhere talking about her ‘A’ level texts, so much so that I found it hard to believe she’d done more than glance through them. So, I thought I’d try a different tack and asked her what she liked to read in her spare time. I kid you not, she looked me straight in the face and said, “Oh, if I’d thought you were going to ask me about books, I’d have read one.” I’m still rendered speechless by the memory.

  2. You start a step (or page) at a time! And David Sedaris is certainly someone with whom time is well spent! At least she’s reading — sometimes I’m not sure many people are anymore!

  3. Anne -Well, I’m speechless at that myself. Why in the world is she applying for English…oh my.

    Jeanie – Yes, I was glad to hear that reading was something she considered important enough to make a resolution of!

  4. Yes, perhaps she will become a ravenous reader. All it takes is the right book.
    I can’t help being a little disappointed. I love David Sedaris but wish she had been reading fiction. Just my own little bias 🙂 I want to hook them with the fiction.

  5. I agree one hundred percent with Andi! I adored that book. Yes, well, there’s a lot I could say about non-readers’ ideas of what reading is all about, but let’s just hope that the waitress experiences the wonderful joy of being totally and helplessly hooked by a piece of writing. I couldn’t wish a better blessing on anyone!

  6. I’ve been a speedy reader, a ravenous reader, and a slow reader. My time with fiction ground almost to a halt during my efforts to acquire a degree a few years ago, and then was strangely affected by my need to wear reading-glasses. It’s only in the past year that I’ve begun to read again at anything like my previous rate.

    I suppose I’m saying there are many kinds of readers. Lets be grateful that books wait for us until we’re ready, and allow us to move at whatever pace suits us.

    And Anne’s tale reminds me of one of my favourite lines from a movie. It’s a Gene Wilder movie. A prison scene. Huge guy says “I read a book once…. Blue, it was!”

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