True story. I was at the cottage, probably fifteen or sixteen-years-old, walking the gravel road to our country store, my face buried in a book. I’m sure bringing said book on a solitary three-quarter of a mile walk was my attempt at stealing a few moments of quiet from the usual cottage related shenanigans that were a constant at the McRobb Mob Inn.
Next door to the store was a century old farmhouse that had seen no home improvements since the original carpenters tucked their tool belts away –the floors were still dirt and there was no indoor plumbing. The farmer, Old Camack (his family name was Camack and he was extremely old) kept his one cow leashed to a fence post at the end of his driveway.
Bet you know where this is going.
Have you ever tried walking with your eyes closed? If so, you’ll know that it’s almost impossible to walk a straight line. Well, I can assure you walking with your nose buried in a book amounts to exactly the same thing. I can only imagine what that cow must have been thinking as she watched a skinny girl with a paper foldie thing clutched in her hands aiming straight for her. Bidding her time, that crafty old cow waited for our noses to almost touch before she let out a moo that sent me skyward. Once I recovered, I do seem to remember a hint of a smile curling around her lips.
I loved reading books then and l love reading books now! Reading brought me to writing. I know, I’m preaching to the choir, but it bears repeating; writers you have to READ. Okay I’ll get off my soapbox. You writers get it, right?
I’m a firm believer that you can tell a lot about a person by how they keep their personal space? (No you can’t come over to my house.) On a recent visit to a writer friend’s home, I was thrilled to see every inch of wall space in her sitting room was covered with bookshelves. Now that’s a writer for you. My house looks the same, except I could add; every flat surface in my bedroom and office is also covered with books.
Currently, I’m working my way through the 2012 Canada Reads shortlisted books. The Game – Ken Dryden, On the Cold Road – Dave Bidini, Prisoner of Tehran – Marina Nemat, Something Fierce – Carmen Acquire, The Tiger – John Vaillant. Although I’m only on the third of five, I highly recommend Prisoner of Tehran, but be warned—you won’t come out the other side the same person you went in. It’s a life changer!
I’m always looking for new books to read so let me know your current favourites and I’ll tell you mine.
I’ve attached a short video wherein Ian McEwan discusses showing up at your desk to write and schedule reading into your day.