I always like to have a book with me at all times –- call it a nerdy grown-up security blanket –- and rarely do I leave the house without slipping one into my bag (even if I KNOW I’m not going to have a chance to read it). Do you take a book with you? Do you take whatever book you’re currently reading, or do you have a special on-the-go book? And do you have a preference for a these types of book (paperback, hardback; short stories; poetry, etc
A “nerdy grown-up security blanket,” eh?
Actually, that’s quite appropriate to my emotional connection with reading material. I was a rather fearful little girl, and I felt safe knowing my story friends were with me. So I dragged books everywhere I went – to the doctor’s office, to the grocery store, to restaurants. I was surely the talk of the neighborhood, too, because I walked most of the way to elementary school with my nose in a book. Books calmed my social anxiety and gave me a pleasant way to pass the time.
Although I’m much less fearful now, there is one thing that strikes terror in my heart and mind. Waiting. I abhor sitting and waiting for anything, and if I have a book to keep me company, I can just about manage life’s inevitable waiting periods without completely losing my cool.
The other day, for instance, I was at the optometrist’s office for an eye examination. Usually these are short and sweet, but I was seeing a new doctor which of course entails all sorts of initial evaluations and form filing. And then there was the waiting period for my eyes to dilate properly. And then the wait for the doctor to finish up with an “emergency” patient (by the way, what could an optometric emergency entail?)
At any rate, here’s where the book comes in ~ or the e-book rather. Yes, I’ve succumbed (slightly) to the lure of electronic reading material. I’ve downloaded a nifty little attachment to my i-pod touch which allows for download of all sorts of books, most of which are free! I whipped out the sleek, palm sized device, and sat back comfortably reading a Dorothy Sayers mystery while I waited. Had I been left alone in that tiny little room without the comfort of my “nerdy grown up security blanket,” I might just have embarrassed myself by screaming in frustration!
I also keep a book in the car – oh, don’t worry, I never read whilst driving. But I like to keep essays or story collections in the car as they provide just the right amount of reading material for a short wait, perhaps while my mother is in shopping or if I end up eating lunch alone. And I admit, I have been known to read surreptitiously if I’m stuck in a (very slow moving!) traffic jam.
Like Linus, I’m quite attached to my security objects, and take one everywhere I go.