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When I'm Not Obsessing...

One of the greatest joys of retirement is being able to choose how to spend my time.  My first choice was eating but I've discovered that too much "together time" with the 'fridge has consequences.

My second favorite activity is reading, but I'm conflicted.  My mom was a reader and used to sneak me batteries so I could read in bed with a flashlight.  My dad wasn't a reader and used to yell "Don't just sit there - do something!" every time he saw me with a book.  As much as I love to read it always felt like a guilty pleasure.
One of my favorite reading spots.
When I was working I used downtime to read.  You'll never catch me on a plane without a book.  I read while I blow dry my hair (which results in either strained muscles, weird hair or both.)  I whip out a book while waiting in line.  And since I was a kid, I've read at least an hour before I fall asleep each night.

Now, with my time my own, I'm able to indulge myself.  And I have.  Thanks to the Seminole County Library and Amazon, I can download books for free onto Mr. Kindle.

At first I read whenever and as much as I cared to.  But then I realized my dad might have been right - at least a little bit.  When someone stops by at 1:00 p.m. and I'm still in my pj's on the couch, spending quality time with Mr. Kindle, it's a bit embarrassing.   Another habit had become having a quickie with Mr. Kindle in the middle of the night.  You know how it goes.  It's 2:30 a.m. and I have to pee.  As I crawl back into bed I hear Mr. Kindle whispering to me.  "Take off my cover, sweetheart.  Let me share my stories with you."  Damn that Mr. Kindle!  He lured me in every time and there I'd be at 6:30 a.m., still reading and sleep deprived.

Now, I'm on more of a schedule.    Usually an hour of reading in the morning.  An hour or two in the afternoon and 2-3 hours before bed.  Mostly it works.  But if you drop by at noon and I'm in my jammies, you'll know Mr. Kindle is the boss of me.
You can often find Mr. Kindle and me snuggled up on the couch.
Here are a few of the books I've read recently:

Devil in the Grove - a true story of the "Groveland Four" and Thurgood Marshall - a tough read on many levels.  This took place in Lake County, adjacent to Seminole County, where I live.
Out of My Mind -a powerful novel about a young women with cerebral palsy.  Because of physical limitations, medical professionals assume she is retarded.  She's not - in fact she is brilliant and has so much to communicate.  Hard to put down.
Absolute Power - a fun to read story of a politician gone bad.  Obviously fiction since that would never happen in reality.
Still Foolin' 'Em - Where I've Been, Where I'm Going and Where the Hell Are My Keys?  - an autobiography of Billy Crystal.  It starts off strong with humorous stories of what it's like to be middle-aged (assuming you'll live to 130).  Then becomes more of a "I'm talented, rich and hang with famous people" book.
The All Girls Filling Stations Last Reunion  - If you loved Fried Green Tomatoes, you'll love this story by Fannie Flagg.  Family, romance and the first women fliers to serve the United States.
I'm a Stranger Here Myself - Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away - Great short essays by Bill Bryson when he returned to the United States after living/working in England for much of his life.  Seemed appropriate since I was returning to America after 5 years away.
Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls - If you like David Sedaris, you'll love this.  If you haven't read him yet, you're in for a treat.  You might want to start with "Me Talk Pretty One Day".

I've read literally (pun intended) dozens more books since I've been home.  Most were novels which slid like junket across my tongue, leaving little taste behind.  That's paraphrasing Betty McDonald from "The Egg and I", one of my all time favorite books.   I'd list more but frankly, Mr. Kindle is demanding my attention and I have to run...to the couch.

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