I pretty much live to read. I get twitchy if I sit down to a meal and don’t have a book handy. Cereal boxes kept me sane at childhood breakfasts. My mom taught me to read at 3.* At five they had to hide the newspapers from me so I wouldn’t get freaked out by headlines. (’70s, you know).
I read a lot. I never learned that speed-reading stuff; I just got fast by sheer repetition, I think. In sixth grade in the school library, my buddy across from me gasped. I looked up. “Your EYES!” he said. Apparently they move back and forth freakishly quickly when I’m reading. Didn’t know that until then.
So I found this test kind of interesting (In several tries, I consistently scored between 975 and 1000, btw):
Source: Staples eReader Department
My Dad has developed Lewy body with Parkinsonian symptoms — a particularly nasty disease similar to Alzheimers; you might have seen Kelsey Grammer’s character with it on the excellent series Boss — and so like lots of folks with the potential for degenerative brain disease, I’m starting to intentionally amp up my brain activity in the perhaps forlorn hope of staving it off. Exercising the muscles before they atrophy, so to speak. Over the last year I’ve been so focused on the mechanics of storing my library I haven’t taken time to read as much as I used to. Dad’s 73; his mom started having similar symptoms at about the same age. I figure I’ve got 30 years left before I may start losing it myself.**
So after a very sobering visit to Dad Saturday, I made myself take a five-hour bath Sunday and did nothing but read the second book and half of the third in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Good stuff.
*Incidentally, Mom KNOWS HOW IT’S DONE. She babysat my five-year-old nephew for a weekend and when my brother and his wife got home, she’d taught him to read. Like, not reading on Friday, reading on Sunday.
**This depressing calculation also puts my library in a very different light. I’ve been collecting books for nearly forty years, each one a book I intended to read before I die. That timetable has been truncated now. I enjoy rereading books too, so it’s not so easy as setting a target of X new books per week; I have to include time for revisiting old friends as well before I lose the ability to read a book all the way through, as Dad has.
In a sense, I’m mapping out what may be the rest of my mentally active life. There’s a satisfaction to this, in that I’ve started early enough to accomplish what I want to; but it’s not fun.