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CONFESSIONS OF A MODERN READER.

September 21, 2018

 

I don’t read.

 

I inhale the printed word.

 

Growing up my reading was a problem during school vacations. My parents were farmers. The nearest town and library were forty miles away on a dirt road.

 

Enter the traveling library. My aunt, on a nearby farm, had a huge empty room in one of the outbuildings. Shelves upon shelves were installed.

 

Once a month the mobile library would come. Tannie Lina would stock the shelves. My mother would get the “call.”

 

And off we’d go.

 

Each family member had a membership card. To feed the beast, aka me, I could take out books on my name as well as on everybody else’s name in the family.

 

And thus, I was shaped. Nose in a book or seated at a piano. Way before the invention of Kindle, computers, electronic and music keyboards.

 

If I found an author or a series I liked, I’d relentlessly hunt down their books until I either had exhausted the supply or got sick of the author.

 

Usually the former.

 

I still read as much as always. Probably more. But with the advent of electronic reading and the volume of material available, my reading habits have changed.

 

Books no longer are sacred and treasured possessions. Visit any second-hand bookstore to see the truth of this.

 

I no longer read every word and take my time over a book. If I don’t like it, I’ll skim through, skip all narrative of a descriptive nature, read the dialogue and rush to the end.

 

I’m still loyal to authors and series. If I find one I like, and I have a few but dang, why did Mark Reutlinger only write two books about Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death.

 

Like all those many years ago, I will hunt down their books and read them. Every single word. Dialogue, narrative, comma and full stop. And if a passage or scene grabs me, I’ll go back and reread a couple of pages.

 

Finally, I’d set the series aside. But a couple of years later I’ll re-read the entire dang lot! Jan

Karon and the Mitford Series come to mind.

 

I’m back to inhaling.

 

In my newfound freedom on Medium, I thus made an interesting discovery.

 

I have my favorites I follow. Always. I find new writers that interest me but because there is so much out there, I look at the time it will take to read their work.

 

Medium is very good at that. They clearly indicate whether it’s a two, three, twelve or twenty-eight minute read.

 

I’ll go up to six or eight minutes but pass on the longer ones.

 

Why then?

 

Because –

 

  • There is only so much time I’m prepared to spend reading on Medium.

  • I have my own writing to do.

  • Full length print books to read.

  • Knitting and quilting to enjoy.

  • “Wordiness” puts me off.

 

I’m convinced there are other readers out there like me. Who won’t spend time reading longer posts unless the title and first few lines really grab them.

 

And that’s something else! That title and those first few lines.

 

I’m trying to build up a following. Maybe some online publication might even pick up on something I wrote.

 

I try to keep my posts under the five-minute mark to read. For my followers it’s easy to check in on and maybe like, and even clap.

 

Because that would be me.

 

The Modern Reader. The Modern Writer.

 

Cyber Hugs and Blessings All.

 

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