Monday, November 2, 2015

I haven't written in a while and this thought came to my mind so I thought I'd write about it.

I love to read.  That's an understatement.  I'm not like my college friend who could read a book in a day.  I don't carry a book around so I can read it while waiting in line.  But, I do read an awful lot.  I read in the morning.  I read at night.  I read while doing stuff on the computer (a lot of times you have to wait for things to load or download or upload or whatever so reading passes the time).  I read in the car (sometimes since I also love to listen to music).  I don't carry a physical book around but thanks to modern technology, I carry around my phone with the Kindle (and many other book) apps.

One of my favorite memories is getting a trophy at 6th Grade Honors Day for reading more books than anyone in the 6th grade.  We didn't have that the year before.  We didn't have that the year after.  I don't know what made that year special.

I can't remember if it was every day or once a week, but we had special time to read in class for something like thirty minutes to an hour.  Every quarter we had to read a certain amount of books for a grade.  100 pages equaled one book.  Every month the one student from each class who read the most that month got a coupon for a free Subway Kid's meal.  This was 1993 before Subway was good so I didn't care about the coupon.  I don't think I used a single one.

Every month but one I read the most books out of my class.  I remember that month.  I have a great memory but I can still be scatterbrained about things.  That month I was scatterbrained about turning in my reading worksheets (we had to fill out a worksheet after every book we read) so I remember not turning in all my worksheets that month.  I also think the girl who was tabulating the reading total cheated because she just so happened to be the winner that month. It doesn't matter.

Sitting in alphabetical order in the A-B Honor Roll line at Honors Day, I kind of spaced out when an old teacher turned administrative assistant started talking about something.  She said this person read more than 100 books (that would have been over 10,000 pages).  I didn't even know this award was being given out, so I was really surprised when she called my name, especially considering I was only half-listening anyway.

I don't usually get special awards like that.  I'd get the A-B Honor Roll certificates (starting last quarter of 4th grade, math was always my downfall), citizenship awards given out in elementary school and one year I got a perfect attendance award (another year my school gave awards to anyone who missed less than 5 days, got one for that, too), but the "Surprise, you did something cool" awards never really came my way.  I wasn't athletic so I didn't win athletic awards.  I usually kept to my self so I didn't get awards for helping out or anything like that.  I didn't even win awards in band.  I was a little miffed because the kid who did win the John Philip Sousa Award my senior year had gotten in a verbal fight with the band director that year and thus, his attitude did not deserve him the award (there was only a handful of seniors in marching band so not much competition). I'm a good flute/piccolo player, but not award-winning (unlike my brother on the tuba who did win the Sousa Award and our band director was practically in love with).

Anyway, I don't usually get special attention for the things I do.  That was a unique time for me.  I have a trophy for taking piano lessons through the school board one year (what good that did since I still can't play hands together).  I have trophies for participating in soccer and basketball.  But, my favorite trophy is the reading trophy because I won it. No one else got one.  I read more books than anyone in my grade.

With the advent of the internet and, of course, more responsibility as I grow older, I don't read as many books as I did back then.  Goodreads, where I keep tabs on what I read, counts one book as one book regardless of page number so a 300 page book counts as one where as in 6th grade that would have been three.  I don't know, maybe I read as much as I did then just in a different capacity.  I read books but I also read blogs, online articles, posts, and emails.