Skip to main content

Reading Paraphernalia

The first time I went skiing the one thing I really appreciated were the instructions. Not knowing what to expect I assumed we would jump into skis and just hit the slopes. Thankfully it wasn't how this lodge operated. For all those who admitted (at the check-in counter) to having never skied before, we were taken aside and given basic ski lessons. And let me stress here again how much I appreciated those lessons. What looked like easy-peasy taught me a great lesson about assumptions.

I'll put it to you this way; babies (three and four years old it looked like) were coming down the slopes within 20-30 minutes max! But me, I won't dare embarrass myself any further, describing how many trees I hugged before I got to the bottom. I'm just glad we started out in the morning because I hadn't thought to bring camping gear.

I use that rather bazaar skiing experience to expunge assumptions of what reading may look like from afar. You know... reader's eyes running back and forth, up and down pages, um-humming, maybe sighing a few 'ah ha's', crying, laughing, and they're done. Had I taken this approach with skiing, there's no telling how I may have ended up feeling about skiing. I could still be up there on that mountain, or I could feel as I currently do, appreciating the lessons learned... understanding why light clothing is more suitable for skiing, despite initially thinking it would be the opposite. I also know why shades are important, and not the stylish kind suitable for wearing on the beach, but the kind with the proper UV protection that securely adheres to your face. There's nothing like seeing your cool glasses going in one direction, while you and your skis go in two and three other directions.

But okay, so now I know the essentials I would bring with me if I ever hit another slope, but here I'll share the essentials I grab when delving into a book.
  1. Eyeglasses for obvious reasons (for me) are essential. There's nothing like reading something you can't read!
  2. Bookmarks and post-it tabs are essential for those who read print books and like keeping books in pristine shape. If you're reading on devices, a good e-one will allow you to earmark your pages, and flip 'em back the other way when you're done. 
  3. Mood is a big essential. And I speak of bringing the appropriate mood to the genre. I primarily read memoirs and biographies; one genre that is far more diverse than all the other genres combined. While the stories often come from one perspective, the subjects cover anything from science and medicine, to dying, hope, healing and religion; basically casing every square inch of any bookstore, library, or reading apparatus. So it's really important to ensure we have the best mood for the book... and or vice versa.   
  4. Which brings me to the matter of tissues. You certainly don't want to dampen the book any more than it already is.
  5. Aleve helps too. There have been occasions when it feels like the book is sitting on my head rather than in my lap, or on my desk or bed.
  6. A second layer of skin is an essential necessity, and all too frequently one that is overlooked. Let's face it, once the book is in print, it is in print. This is not the time to be wishing the ten year old abused child would've done what we 'might' do today. What happened, is what happened, which grabbing that second layer of skin does help get through the experience.   
  7. Flex balls also help, especially if you're one of those readers who must finish the book.
  8. Muzzles are good for those books like the one I just finished reading, 'A Hamster is Missing in Washington, D.C. by Ed Spivey. I got to howling so loud, I almost got 'checked in.'  
  9. Which brings me to the reason shawls are essential, although I bet you don't know why? Well, it's like this. I don't read books on iNooks, eNooks, a Nook, or screens, and for the same reason if someone asked me to board an invisible plane. I know it sounds exciting and fun, and once I do it I'll never fly 'regular' planes again, but for now it's outside my reality zone. Therefore, I don't have the luxury of concealing what I read. This is where the shawl comes handy. Instead of hiding the book, I can hide behind the shawl. ß And this is one you can try at home!
  10. Above all, the most important essential is having an open mind. What would be the point of reading otherwise? 


  1. i'm starting to think we were separated at birth - eyeglasses, real book, aleve and SHAWLS...
    my friend susan has a fake book jacket. it is one of the lusty romance covers with lady about to be ravished. underneath she always has a small book of poetry. when i asked why she did it, she said "don't want people expecting to much from me"

  2. Awl now that was funny... and gave me my greatest idea for my next book cover! HaHa! I can't wait. and that's not LOL, but SOL as in screaming out loud. I just know everyone's gonna love it!!!

  3. Reading Paraphernalia...Love this post - couldn't stop laughing!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Stuff Writers Understand

A popular question writers get asked, is why in all things grounded, sane, fun and profitable would anyone volunteer to put themselves through the grueling task of writing a book? Pluralize book and, well, it will in all likelihood be assumed that writer has one screw very loose.

Fact is, there are many drivers that keep writers, writing.

Contraire to a common belief, largely due to many artists, myself included, associating pain with creating art... be it Mahalia belting out soul stirring llyrics from her sternum, or Van Gogh painting masterpieces with one ear, or like a pair of writers I laughed at describing what they looked like during long episodes drafting their stories, writing largely is a pleasurable exercise. Seriously, while anyone can have ‘a moment’, most people will pass on the liver pot pie for a slice a pizza every time.

The single prevalent complaint that drive most writers NUTS, is not writing, but rather the inability to write... and for whatever reason. Distractio…

Kathryn White Talks About Being Abigail

The book with the eye that sat on my desk (on my to-read pile), always seeming to be keeping an hard eye on me while I worked on other projects, I finally picked up and read. Yes, Abigail told me in so many stares I had better read her, and I did, and really enjoyed the story. And so now I am very pleased to be honored with an interview from the author, Kathryn White. I call Being Abigail the perfect idling read because I read it at a time when I needed something not so intense, or dramatic to read. This book was truly that book; a very comfortably paced story about a young woman blogging to sort out her relationship with the charming Samuel, centered around one near perfect Chastity MacKenzie and her (almost) mother-in-law, a woman who I came to look forward to encounters with her in the scene. And, of course too, let's not leave out Abigail. After all, she is only the star!

It’s Official! RYCJs Top 10 Favorite Books in 2017

For those who will desire to miss it, (my You Tube video sharing what books enhanced my mood this year), I took time to spell out the list.

In no particular order:

- Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson
- Pain Don’t Hurt by Mark ‘Fightshark’ Miller
- Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker
- Tha Doggfather by Snoop Dogg
- My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King
- My Mistake by Daniel Menaker
- When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
- I Choose to Stay by Salome Thomas-EL
- The Journey Home by Clifton Taulbert
- Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women, and Money by Kevin O'Leary

Thank you, Authors. I HIGHLY recommend reading from this list. I've read many phenomenal books this year, and these rose to the top. Every one of the memoirs, not all written in 2017, kick-started my mood, were humorous in spots, touched me to the core, and in my estimation... promises to grow a Smart, Engaged, Literate Society.

M E R R Y  🎄  C H R I S T M A S