Living Out Loud

My Life Reading


I have some long-standing interests and past times, but only a few go back to my childhood. I'm 59, so I came of age in the 70s and 80s, ruling out anything tech related. There are a few things, though that though they have evolved, I consider to be just part of who I am. Reading is at the forefront.


I got into trouble throughout my entire public education for reading books for pleasure when I was supposed to be doing other things, like "math". I went to 13 schools in 12 years and made friends with the school librarian at every one of them. Not only that, I made friends with the people at the public library too. One of my proudest achievements for a long time was winning the summer reading contest at the public library in Lillington, NC for two years running, reading more books than any other kid in the county. My family traveled to the same used bookstore for 40 years until it closed. I took my kids there when they were growing up. I would read anything, not always to my benefit. I got ahold of my parents copy of Helter Skelter (about the Manson murders) when I was in 5th grade and just about scared myself into psychosis. 

These days I go through spells where I read a lot of books and then don't. I am a born researcher and when I get a new hobby, I get books to go with it. Consequently my bookshelves are full of tomes on cycling, weight training, parrots and photography. I like fiction too. It was a series of detective novels taking place in Carrick Fergus, Northern Ireland that sparked my interest in that part of the world

At other times, I can go an embarrassingly long time without reading a book. My RSS feed and newspaper subscriptions (Washington Post and New York Times) keep me busy enough. When I had a longer commute, I listened to a lot of audiobooks. In fact my Audible and Kindle libraries are so huge that I should make plans to leave them to my kids and grandkids in my will. I love getting books as gifts. My family knows this and accommodates. My kids are especially good at picking things out for me to read. Needless to say, all of them are big readers too, as is my wife. As shallow as it sounds, I don't think I could find someone attractive unless they were a reader.