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The Trouble with a Good Book

For over a week now I have been insanely jealous of my 9-year-old son.  At first I was supportive and excited for him.  Yet somehow envy slowly took over and I started thinking, “I want that too!”  He’s been on a streak of some sort lately, one good one after another.  And I couldn’t help but think, “When is it MY turn?”  I want to be like him and have a book so good that you just can’t put it down.  A book you could read for hours and hours and lose all track of time.  I want what he’s having – is that really asking too much?

I glanced at my bedside nightstand.  There, on the top of the stack, was a book I needed to read for the From Left to Write (Online) Book Club I am involved with.  To be honest I’m not sure it is a book I would have just picked up on my own if I seen it at our local bookstore.  Although the cover is catchy, the jacket description says it is about a woman who becomes obsessed following this famous female star – then the star dies and she is the lead suspect.  Stalker books aren’t really my thing.  But yet here it was – and I needed to read it for the book club – so I sat down and gave it a go.

The next time I looked up at the clock it was 12:30 am!  I had been sitting there for hours, turning the pages as quickly as I could.  I didn’t want to stop reading, but it was a “school night” and mornings come too early for me in general.  Reluctantly I set it aside.

The next day I had to keep telling myself, “No sitting down and reading until the end of the day!”  I had things to get done. Yet all I wanted was to plant myself down with that book.  (Ooh – I absolutely LOVE that feeling!)  When the kids got home from school, my daughter went up to her room to play, and my son picked up his book to read as one of his school assignments.  Perfect.  I could read too.  I grabbed Following Polly from my nightstand and opened to where my bookmark was.  I was nearly giddy.

Reading a good book is like taking drugs (or so I think).  I just needed my fix.  My hands were almost shaking in anticipation.  I wanted to just consume as much as I could as quickly as possible.  Ah – what a feeling!

Writing a page-turner is tough.  Finding one to read still doesn’t happen to me enough, for when I do, I am very aware of what a special thing it is that I’m holding in my hands.  I think it’s one of the greatest compliments you could give a writer – that what they put on the page was SO GOOD that you just HAD to keep turning those pages to find out more.

For 30 minutes, my son and I sat there on opposite ends of the couch, each engulfed in our books.  I was limited in time because I had dinner to prepare; he wanted to get out and throw some baseballs on his pitch-back before being called in to eat.  But that half an hour was a slice of heaven for me – a perfect scene from my fantasy life.

This Zen Mama Wannabe has visions of the kids and I spending our summer vacation in a beach cottage or mountain cabin – and always in the fantasy (because it is mine to create) there is a stack of books just waiting to be read, and endless hours to do just that.  Now that my Little One is beginning to read on her own maybe that dream isn’t so far off.  The books don’t have to be works of literary genius – they just need to, in their own way, entertain.  Like Following Polly did for me.  Like 39 Clues and Peter and the Starcatchers currently do for my son.

The trouble with a good book is that it ends,” my son complained to me last night.  Ah yes – spoken from one book lover to another.  “But….while it lasts…” I said wistfully, recalling the pleasure I’ve had these last two days.  We both grinned at each other.   Yep, there’s hardly anything better than that!

(From Left to Write is a virtual blogging book club with over 100 members.  For more information, please see FromLefttoWrite.com.)

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12 Responses to “The Trouble with a Good Book”

  1. Kristine (Mommy Needs Therapy) Says:
    September 13th, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I completely understand! Like you I wouldn’t have necessarily picked out this book on my own, but I’m so happy From Left to Write gave me the chance. Such a fun read!

    I so hope my children learn to love to read as much as I do. My 7 year old is struggling right now, but he loves to be read to, as does my almost 3 year old.

  2. Brandi Says:
    September 13th, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    I feel the same way about this book! My daughter is only 16 months old, but she loves to read already. She will sit down thumb through the pages of her books all by herself! It warms my heart!

  3. Linsey Krolik Says:
    September 13th, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    It was a good and fun read! I love mysteries, but I haven’t read one for a long time. And I LOVE that both you and your son were engrossed. My 1st grader twins are on the cusp of being able to read on their own and I can’t wait for those days when we are all curled up with our (OWN) good books that we can’t put down.

  4. Following Polly by Karen Bergreen – A From Left to Write Book Club | From Left to Write Says:
    September 13th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    […] Zen Mama Wannabe from Zen Mama Wannabe talks about the trouble with a good book […]

  5. Emily Says:
    September 14th, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Now that I have a child and I describe a book like that to someone I say, “You know when you read a book that you can’t put down…except you have to?” My son is four, those days are a long ways off for me!

  6. Amy @ Using Our Words Says:
    September 14th, 2010 at 8:44 am

    I felt the same about this book, so you can imagine how frustrated I was when I got home from vacation and realized I’d left it on my bedside table. A week later it was back in my hands and a couple days later it was done. I really don’t have time to read, but when a book is good and gets me to escape, it’s worth more than sleep sometimes!

  7. Melissa Says:
    September 14th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I can most definitely relate! I hate having to wait all day long to feed my book addiction. Similiarly, my daughter is a book-a-holic, but, selfish 2 year old that she is, we have to read HER books. She has just started thumbing through books on her own and I am waiting for the day when we’ll be able to read side-by-side getting our literary fixes. Enjoyed this post!

  8. Sharon Says:
    September 17th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I agree it was a great book and it was hard for me to get to read for very long also. But I did savor the book, every time it was in my hands.

  9. Michelle Says:
    September 19th, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I am so with you that I probable would not have read this book had I not been sent it for the book club – but there are a ton of books we’ve read like that, and so far I’ve liked all but one.

    And that “I have to do X” before I can read? Oh I am so there with you! It’s hard sometimes, isn’t it?

  10. callieandbatido Says:
    September 27th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I will HAVE to read it…sounds to good to pass up!

  11. Zen Mama Wannabe » Blog Archive » Playing the Numbers Game Says:
    October 10th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    […] siblings varying points of view, would captivate me right now as my own loss feels so great.  But just like before, I discovered that I could barely put it down.  Reading it straight through on a recent […]

  12. April Says:
    October 21st, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I think you mean one addict to another 🙂 I have the same issues!

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