How to be a Reader in a Non-Reading Family
You've been waiting for the 3-day weekend or that holiday break. You think, Gee, it'd be awfully nice to get some reading time in. You never have enough time for reading.
But then your parents call wanting you to spend the day with the family. Well, okay. You never seem to have enough time for family either.
Aha! you think. What if I could somehow do both at the same time?
It's such an innocuous idea. A passing, "why not" moment of brilliance. But it never works out that way. Not if you're a reader born into a non-reading family.
You love your family. You do. But the allure of books is just too much.
You arrive at your family's humble abode. You spend some time catching up over a delicious home-cooked meal. After the meal you think, The time for reading is now.
But then your grandmother wants to show you her latest clearance finds from Belk and your mom wants to know precisely every reason why you're not yet engaged.
Your grandfather and stepdad are occupied by watching football. They're on your side here. If only they too liked to read then you could all join in this quiet communal activity away from the rest of the family without being thought antisocial.
Sure, you could whip out your book in front of them, right there at the kitchen table. Read with audacity in the face of familial nagging. But you're not trying to incite a riot. And familial nagging is sure to interrupt even the most impervious reader.
You could load an ebook onto your phone and read from there. After all, it is more socially acceptable to have your phone out than a book. But this means lots of scrolling and very little texting and when your mother asks, "Who texted you a novel?" you know you aren't fooling anyone.
You could always sneak off to the bathroom, pretending that your bowels have run afoul of something unkind. But then you'll be speed-reading, anxious about the inevitable knock of "Are you okay in there?" And you don't want to insult your family's cooking. You do like their cooking after all.
You could steal away to the basement, but it's dark down there and you left your book light on your nightstand.
You could just go outside, but then you'll be paranoid of everything that moves and the nonstop sensation of itching that the outdoors tends to bring on.
You could try to sit in the living room with your grandfather and stepdad as they watch football. But then they'd feel the need to explain plays to you between their sessions of cheering.
You're running out of options. And your biological book clock is ticking.
At length, you accept the fact that nothing short of a family nap will afford you sufficient reading time.
So you decide to try a little bit of everything in hopes of getting a single chapter in. And you resolve to still hopelessly carry your book to all family gatherings in the event your reading habits rub off on anyone.