This week's question:
I can read anywhere, anytime. But I am also extremely distracted. So, I have a book on the nightstand that I read before bed. This book is usually read with at least one cat crawling across my head.
So, this is my question to you–are you a Goldilocks kind of reader?
Do you need the light just right, the background noise just so loud but not too loud, the chair just right, the distractions at a minimum?
Or can you open a book at any time and dip right in, whether it’s for twenty seconds, while waiting for the kettle to boil, or indefinitely, like while waiting interminably at the hospital–as long as the book is open in front of your nose, you’re happy to read?
There is also a "carry around" book that I keep in my purse (kind of like a sock in progress) for those times when I'm meeting people and get there early. The carry around book is usually a collection of essays of some sort, so that if a month passes between readings, I can pick it up and not worry about remembering a plot. Think David Sedaris or Laurie Notaro. These books are usually read while sitting in my car, or, better yet, while sitting at a bar, sipping a beer and waiting for a friend.
Reading anywhere but in bed does bring out my ability to be easily distracted. If someone walks in the restaurant, I have to look. If the kids next door are out, I have to see what they're doing. Who's walking down the street? But I've always been like that, and it doesn't affect my ability to make progress on and retain what I'm reading. In fact, my last reading in public venture was at a Kildaire's bar, enjoying calamari and a Sam Adams while reading Social Networking Software in Libraries. I'm sure the bartender went home that night with a "You won't believe this one" story.