Old Habits Die Hard

I’m staring at the display of books set up in the lobby of the Teacher’s College workshop I’m at for the day.  My eyes linger on the glossy covers, the bright colors, the pictures of teachers and students.  I gingerly pick them up, turn them over to skim the back.  They feel heavy in my hands, the pages feel cool against my fingertips as I carefully turn the pages.  I’m feeling a mixture of excitement and longing at the same time.

Once upon a time I was an avid reader. I still remember the Sunday in 4th grade when I got in trouble for reading my Nancy Drew during church (I had it tucked inside my Bible, thinking no one would notice).  I still remember in 5th grade when my mom declared that MLB games were not for reading novels (apparently she didn’t appreciate buying me a ticket when I didn’t watch the game).  I still remember how I got my husband into reading, telling him he was not allowed to bring financial reports on our tropical vacation and convincing him to give The Lord of the Rings a try (he loved the movies, so that was an easy one).

I’ve gone through many phases as a reader: historical fiction, romance, mystery, memoir.  I used to read professional texts for fun on the weekends and during vacations. But my current phase, the one that is causing me to gaze longingly at these books on display, is…board books.  Where is Baby’s Bellybutton, Jesse Bear, and Baby Balooga are some of my favorites right now.  In fact, I don’t even need the book to read them–I can recite them by heart.

I am so grateful that all three of my children love reading.  I love the cuddles and snuggles as we read together, sometimes all three of them piled on me at the same time. They are memories I will always cherish.

But still, I miss reading for myself! When I’m daydreaming, it’s often about reading a book alone in a quiet place (three things I never get as a mom).  And so I stare longingly at the books on display, knowing that I already have a stack of unread books that will last me five years and I don’t need another one.  “Someday you will be able to read for yourself again,” I tell myself.

And then I buy a book anyways!  Old habits die hard–h0pefully this one is just in a coma for a while and will awaken soon.


6 thoughts on “Old Habits Die Hard

  1. I can so relate to the habit of buying books. I find it hard to enter a book store and leave empty handed…it’s like to beg me to come home. I liked the description at the beginning a lot…I could see that book display. And the tone near the end when you talk about the board books…is more full of love for your children than boredom w/ the same stories.


  2. I encourage you to let the kids play a bit and let them see you read–even if you only read a page or two. Read a page or two before bed, even if it takes 6 months to finish a book. I confess that once my children were lovingly neglected and had grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner because I found it hard to put down a book. It didn’t seem to hurt them and now they are all grown, educated adults!


  3. Another fabulous mentor text, the weaving of thought is perfect!

    Yes — “I’ve gone through many phases as a reader..” — this is me, and after a very, very long time, I gave myself permission to accept this about myself. Without denial, thinking, oh, magazines and newspapers count. Those are blips, information..

    But as I sit here, I’m thinking we do need immersion into something, I think. My last great read was Into the Wind when Everest, the movie came out. When I finished, I had not felt so passionate and moved and angry about something in my entire life (although I do see a lot of injustice in this world and do respond to it accordingly). It was the storytelling, the weaving. The writer provoked me, through storytelling.

    Which is the talent I’m observing here in this piece. .. yes!

    Thank you, wonderful read.

    What Teacher’s College? LOVE our National Writing Project Workshops here in Texas. Are they related?


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