Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
I love this topic. And it’s funny because when I first started this post I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to think of enough ridiculous things and here I am with eleven (sorry, top ten fails). There’s no end, I think, to the lengths that book lovers will go for their books and the stories that they just love reading. Here are a few of mine.
10. Under the Desk
I will never forget the day that I got caught reading under the desk in one of my classes. I will never forget the way the teacher said my name, looked at me with such disappointed eyes, and said, “Stephanie, it pains me as an English teacher to have to ask you to put your book away.” And despite that rather embarrassing moment, I continued to do it later and in every single one of my classes. I was always the sort of kid who brought books with her everywhere she went and whenever a class made me feel as though my time could be better spent reading my book, that was what I did. I’m surprised I only got in trouble for it once. The level of which I did not pay attention in my Trigonometry class because I always had a book under the desk was insane.
If you’ve ever packed too many books while you were traveling because you anticipated being able to read through all of them but never actually finished the first two, you’ll know what I mean. Often when I travel I pack at least three books for the trip itself–not including when I am at the destination for which I have even more books sometimes–because I genuinely believe that I’m going to get through all of them incredibly quickly. And this doesn’t even include the books that I have with me 24/7 on account of book apps on my phone.
8. Pretended to be too Engrossed to Talk
This doesn’t work with everyone, to be honest. Not every single person in the world is going to believe that you’re so immersed in the world of the novel you’re reading that you can’t hear them when they talk to you. But I’d perfected this when I was younger and I could often pretend that I hadn’t heard someone, didn’t even realize they were in the room let alone talking to me and telling me to go do the dishes, that I was actually able to get out of a lot of conversations or at least delay certain activities for a while merely by implying with my non-response that I was too involved in my book to stop reading.
7. Reading During Conversations
This is on a similar level to #8, but in an entirely different way. You see, I can have a conversation with someone and read my book at the same time. And I’ve done it a lot. I’ve done it while on the phone, done it while in the car, and basically any other time you can think of. And it’s amazing how present you can be for a conversation while simultaneously getting through a few pages of your novel. My reading rate (speed) definitely slows exponentially, but I still get through a few pages.
6. The Giant Sized Book Haul
I don’t know if this is a substantial number in comparison to others. In truth, I’ve never compared notes on this one. But I once left a store with 34 new books to add to my shelves. I’ve had some sizable book hauls over the years, but 34 is by far my record. And it was one of those discount stores, so the books were quite a bit cheaper than they are usually which is ultimately what enabled me to go ahead and buy as many as I could, but my goodness was I a bit ridiculous. And this was long before I had a driver’s license, too, so I had to carry all 34 of those books the 20 minute walk back to my house, too.
5. The Going to Bed Lie
I think we’ve all done this at some point. There are just those nights where you get so sick of people and you just want to curl up with your book and be left alone that you tell a white lie, “I’m so exhausted,” and excuse yourself to sleep when in all actuality you’re just curled up on your bed getting some one on one time with your newest novel because, in that moment, that book is infinitely more wonderful than every single person that you know.
4. No Wasted Time
Auidobooks changed my life, I have to say. When I started listening to them I went kind of nuts. I listened to them in the shower. I listened to them when I was cleaning. I listened when I studied for an exam. I listened while I walked to class or when I rode my bike to work. I listened to them (and still do) as I fell asleep. The only ones I still don’t do is when I’m studying (since I’ve graduated and don’t really study anymore) and when I rode my bike to work since I live within walking distance now and just do that. But I still listen to them on my way to work. And it’s so extra. I listen to audiobooks while I take my dog for walks, when I’m preparing my meals, and while I do the laundry. And it all comes down to me feeling like every day grinding tasks are an utter waste of my time. I would put off the laundry for weeks if I didn’t have audiobooks to make me feel like this time is being put to good use.
3. No Sleep
I’ve skipped class and called in sick to work (in college, mind, I haven’t done this as an adult out in the real world) because I couldn’t put a book down the night before. You know you’ve got a reading problem when a book keeps you awake all night and well into the morning and you decide to put the rest of your life on hold so you can finish it and then take a long nap afterward. But I’ve done it and I don’t have any regrets, either.
Picture this: You’re sitting at the top of the mountain by a gorgeous lake, feet dangling in the water and reading a book. Now picture the trek up that mountain, the long trail, and the fact that this outing was literally a hike with friends. And this wasn’t an easy hike, either. It was an insanely long one with huge uphill climbs meant to exhaust you with exercise. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking when I decided that alongside the water bottles and the few snacks I was packing into my bag to lug up the mountainside, I included not one, not two, but three books. I don’t even know where I thought I would ever end up reading one of those, let alone all three because it never happened. And in the end I was exhausted and practically dying behind half my friends as they traveled up the mountain perfectly unencumbered because they were intelligent enough not to put three heavy books in their bags.
I feel as though most readers wouldn’t find this ridiculous and, in fact, would consider anyone who claimed it was such a blasphemous fool, however I do have to recognize a reality that was pointed out to me by non other than my boyfriend in recent years. Owning a massive amount of books and insisting upon bringing them all along with you every time you move is rather insane. For one thing, there’s the sheer number of boxes you need. For another, there’s the pure dedication that comes with carrying these massively heavy boxes out and then in as you move.
But I think the thing that really showed how ridiculous my process of moving with my books was when I began college. Firstly, I insisted that I was bringing an entire giant bookshelf of my own into my dorm room. Secondly, I brought over 300 books with me, most of which I did not have the time nor inclination to read while I was there. But just the mere thought of wanting to read one of my books and not being able to do so was pure torture and so about 90% of the books I owned at the time came with me. And then they went home with me in the summer and then back to my dorm room in the fall.
And a bonus because it belongs on this list but I’m too lazy to erase what I’ve already written to fit it in, though this one is honestly probably #4 or #5: I’ve read while walking. As in, I will hold an actual book in front of my face and walk through hallways, down the street, etc. whilst vaguely paying attention to my surroundings so that I can get further in my book. I’ve done it since I was a kid. And I still do.