The Slow Reader

The Slow Reader

Have you seen the movie The Reader? It’s been a while since I watched it (a few years), but I remember enjoying it. I love Kate Upton. Wait… what?

I’m just kidding. I love Kate Hudson.

If “they” make a movie about my life, they might call it The Slow Reader. It took me four days to read the story — not novel, story — “Runaway,” by Alice Munro, which appears in her story collection of the same title (Runaway, in case that wasn’t clear). And if you think that’s bad — in terms of slowness — it was a re-read. Not even the first time I’d read it. So.

I think it’s important for writers to read. I know a lot of people agree with this, but I’ve also seen that there are some people — some writers — who don’t. I find this really strange. I mean, if you don’t like reading, why would you expect other people to read something you made for them to read?

Anyway, I’ve been trying to fit more reading into my routine, along with more writing, and I’ve managed to do about five minutes more of each per day. Successssssss!

What I’ve been reading about, mostly, is running away.

I’m not planning my own escape, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s research.

In This is How, Augusten Burroughs writes about running away as an alternative to suicide. “You can leave,” he tells us. “You can open the front door, step outside, and make a right or a left. And keep going.”

No matter what obligations we think we’re bound to, none of them binds like death. Your job, your house, your family – they could all be left behind, and you could make your life into something it currently isn’t.

“Well, yes,” Burroughs admits, “It’s destructive. But it is a choice. And it’s a better choice than suicide.”

This is one of the most comforting things I’ve ever read, even though, for me, things have never been that bad.

Unease comes mostly in twinges.

The desire to flee rushes in only on occasion, unbidden, both hands on the wheel in a local grocery parking lot. Then it passes. Dinner is in an hour.

No, I’m not planning my own escape, because I’m not in prison.

But I sure am glad I can read.


2 Responses

Leave a Reply