professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Mileage may vary

I spent an inordinate amount of time behind the wheel of my car over the last few days. On Friday, I drove to the DFW (Dallas Fort Worth for the uninitiated) and spent the night at the Miller Hotel. The owners, Donalyn and Don, are gracious. The accommodations are wonderful. Plus, I get to be licked to death by some of their fur babies. And I get to hold and cuddle them, too. It is relaxing and entertaining.

The drive to Donalyn's house is supposed to be 3.5 hours according to the GPS. However, the GPS does not account for rest stops, fueling of car and body, and construction. So, I spent a few more hours than the GPS predicted. Ditto the drive home from the YAK Fest on Saturday. I was happy that today was spent in my recliner, my office chair, and the bed.

Now, what does this have to do with books and reading? I think reading has its construction moments, its time to refuel body and mind, its rest stops. All I have to do to consider this is examine my own reading over the long weekend of travel.

On the drive to DFW, I finished listening to one audiobook and then segued to the next. I am listening to Audies finalists, so I am happy for any time I can immerse myself in a book, reading with my ears. But, if I did not have any audio, this driving trip would have resulted in me getting in NO time to read. I actually did not mind the construction slow down because I was so enjoying the audiobooks. And I know I am not the only one who will sit in the car to finish a chapter or even a book despite having arrived at my destination.

Once I arrived at the Miller Hotel, I was inundated by the welcome from the Millers and their fur babies. I had not packed any books because I knew we would sit and chat and eat and stay up too late. However, the talk turned to books quickly (and this should surprise no one), and before I knew what was happening, Donalyn was stacking some picture books next to me so I did not have to disturb a cuddling dog (bless, Flora). So, I read 4-5 picture books and a short GN as well. I managed to get in more reading than I had planned.

But there are other times when the best laid plans fail, and I get in little or no reading. Thankfully, these are few and far between and generally have to do with work issues.

People ask how I manage to read so much. I have talked about it before, but it bears repeating:

1. I generally have books with me: in the car, in the bathroom, in the office, etc.
2. I prioritize time for reading. It happens in lieu of going to the movies, watching much TV, etc.
3. I alternate longer texts with picture books, fiction and nonfiction, etc.
4. I spend rainy days reading (and napping).
5. I have a group who recommends books so I can build a good TBR stack.

One final note:

During the drive, there are those cars and trucks that speed past me in hopes of arriving a few minutes before I do. Generally, I catch up to them at stoplights, in construction zones, at rest stops. So, I have stopped worrying about speed. I pace myself. And it is that way with reading. There are folks who read more than I do. There are folks who read less than I do. That is fine. I read what I do when I can. This is not a competition (and I loathe reading competitions); this is my life, part of my career, a chunk of what I love to do.

And so I read.
Tags: driving, reading
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