Tuesday, December 7, 2010

People Have Too Many Friends

I have been a voracious reader my whole life.

It took me quite a long time to learn how to read. My first grade teacher was senile - literally. She used to write the words on the board during spelling tests and lock us in the closet if we were bad. I remember once talking while in line coming in from recess and she snatched my hand, holding it tighter than a vice and hauling me to the front the line to be made an example of. The school actually issued a formal apology to my parents and forced her to retire.

So it wasn't because I was stupid.

At the end of 2nd / beginning of 3rd grade I was finally back on track, and since then I have swallowed books whole.

Today I was buying some books from an author friend of mine (the phenomenal and delicious Clay McLeod Chapman) and I had the sensation of going through with a drug deal. We were standing in a dim theater lobby, me handing him a handful of money, him handing me books and in the true vein of a dealer of something I needed he offered me another one of his newly published plays - "No one knows about it yet, I'll let you have it for $10!" - which I enthusiastically threw at him. I need my fix!

What with Kindles and Nooks and iPads and all the rest, will books ever actually become obsolete? Will they only be in museums, will people look down their noses at them, snootily pointing out how bad they are for the environment, how many trees went down to make them, and so on and so on.

I can't get into the whole electronic book, I love the feel of a book in my hand, the ability to underline and circle and dog ear pages and all the rest.

How many children (I use the term loosely, it applies to humans from 1st grade to college graduates) actually love to read like I do? Really, the only reason I became the reader I am was because I had no friends. I figured that if I was the best at everything I could be then people would like me. Obviously this is an incredibly misguided thought that I was stricken with for quite sometime. I still feel the after effects of this life choice. However, it made me a incredible reader and very intelligent human being.

See, if I ever have children, I would discourage them from making friends and hand them a book instead.

Therefore I will not be having children, as I realize this behavior is what breeds kids who shoot up high schools.

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