Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Love of Reading

I've loved to read ever since I was a kid. When I was eight years old, I discovered The Baby-sitters Club, which I'm embarrassed to admit sucked me in and got me reading regularly. In grade school, I read like crazy.... kids books, adult books, whatever someone recommended to me and I could get my hands on. One time I read three library books in one day. It was my passion.

As I got to high school and both my school workload and my social life picked up, I didn't read as much. In college, I mostly read the books I was assigned in class. (Some of which were great... that's how I discovered Jane Eyre.)

When I got to medical school, I made a conscious decision: I wasn't going to read for fun anymore. I felt that if I was reading something, it ought to be related to my medical education. So I quit reading for eight years. It didn't feel like that big a sacrifice because I hadn't read something I really enjoyed in a while.

Then in my last year of residency, KC asked if any of us could review a book for this blog. I volunteered, and when I read the book, I remembered how much I used to enjoy reading. So I started up again.

Recently, I was reading an article about a woman who read a book a day for a year. This is not something I could ever do, for many, many reasons. Just reading the article brought on a bit of an eyestrain headache (I take frequent breaks to avoid this). But I was inspired by this woman's quest, and how her love of reading inspired a love of reading in her children. My daughter recently observed me reading and said, "How come you're not saying the words out loud?" Then she seized my book and pretended to read it herself. (This is why I don't own a Kindle.)

There's truly nothing like getting lost in a good book. Unfortunately, I've had to wade through some junk, but it's worth it for the good ones. I also joined a book club that's inspired me to read some stuff I wouldn't have read otherwise (e.g. The Help, best book of the year).

I haven't exactly read 365 books a year, but I've been keeping a reading list linked off my blog and it looks like I've read 43 books this year. I always keep a book next to me for when the baby falls asleep while nursing. If reading is something you love, you can always make time for it.


  1. I've felt the same way, that if I'm not reading about medicine, I shouldn't be reading anything. But I find I feel better, a little more balanced if I mix in a good story now and then.

  2. Your entire first paragraph reminded me of myself at eight years old! I loved to read and quite enjoyed the Baby-sitters Club series. Wow, thanks for taking me back. :)

  3. I love reading! I do have a Kindle, and have read so much since I got it. I have incidentally also started exercising more since getting it (imagine a slow jog on the treadmill while reading). Unfortunately the medical journals are going unread, but in the meantime, I'm getting a lot of enjoyment out of my books.

  4. I still do feel guilty when I'm reading stuff that isn't for work, but then again, there's so little that I do anymore that's purely for my own enjoyment. I think I deserve to be allowed to read for fun.

  5. I love reading. I gave it up for 7 weeks last spring when I studied for step 1, but the week after I took it I read 5 to make up for it. I read every night for 20 minutes or so just to relax- I don't know that I could ever give it up.
    I also used to love the babysitters club,

  6. Fizzy, I totally agree! I was just like you as a child. My pediatrician once had to reason with my mom when she was going to take away my books; she would send me to my room for misbehavior, and I would just sit in there and read quite happily! :-) Mom and I used to laugh about that later on.

    To this day, I cannot do without pleasure reading. When I'm upset or sad, the best thing I can do is wall myself off for a little while with an old favorite like Little Women. Reading recharges my batteries, too, almost like sleeping. It's clearly therapeutic for me.

    I love my Kindle; it's the first thing I pack before going on vacation.

    I wish I had time to join a book club. Maybe when I retire...

  7. I kept track of most of the books I read this year: 86, confirmed, and a few trashy ones I didn't put on the list because I don't think they counted.

    I read the article on the book-a-day woman. All I can say is: good for her for encouraging people to read, BUT it must be nice not to have to work full time and to have household help besides. Avid readers could probably knock off a short book a day (she generally limited herself to <250-300 pages) with no problem, given those conditions. I did read a book a day while I was on vacation for a week, nothing heavy, but I enjoyed myself. Much easier than my journal reading, for sure.

  8. The only thing I really want to make sure I do before I have this baby is load up my kindle with a bunch of books. I love my kindle, and I do read so much more now that I have it.

    I wish my mom had let me read The Babysitter's Club! She thought it (and Sweet Valley High) were too vacuous and wanted me to read what she liked instead. I vow never to be so picky with my future offspring.

  9. gcs15: I got in trouble for reading too... mostly at the dinner table :)

    TJ: Yeah, I don't see how a working person could do that. I don't think I could do it even if I wasn't working though.

    OMDG: I eventually was banned from reading BSC, but I was only 8 when I started reading it, so I guess reading *anything* at that age was considered OK. And Stacy McGill introduced me to my future friend Sun-In :)


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