Many, m-a-n-y, many years ago, I was visiting my sister while they were living in San Angelo, when their kids were all preschoolers. We’d left the kids, including my school-ager Jeremy, at home with my brother-in-law, and were out running errands. At one point, she was going to hurry into someplace, and asked if I wanted to come, too, or just stay in the car. I glanced around the car and saw a mom’s magazine that I could read while she popped in and out. “I’ll stay here,” I said, picking up the periodical.
When she came back, she said, “I always keep a couple of things in the car to read. In case I have to wait somewhere.”
“Me, too,” I agreed.
“So,” I went on, “apparently our greatest fear, based on our behavior, is being stuck somewhere, with nothing to read.”
“Oh, yes,” she said.
I appreciate the physicians’ offices with magazines. Well, interesting magazines, except I rarely make visits there without a book. At the retina place, for example: first, there’s the stay in the waiting room, until I go to get my eyes dilated and my vision and my eye pressure checked. Then, back to the waiting room. Then, into the little room for retina scans. Then, maybe back to the waiting room, or straight to an examining room. Then, waiting there for the retina specialist, who then, after looking at the scans, numbs my eye(s). More waiting, in the examining room. Then, eye procedure. Then, I’m done. I need something to read during all that.
I see lots of physicians. There’s quite a bit of waiting. And you just can’t guarantee what sorts of reading material are going to be there. And, really, if I start reading a magazine article, I could take it to the examining room, but I’m pretty sure they’d be unhappy with me if I took it home to finish what I was reading. Otherwise, I’d have to go to some store and try to purchase my own copy, but what if it was from three months ago? I could try the library. But really, it’s just easier if I take my own reading materials.
I do have a couple of books on my phone, but I don’t like that so much. The amount of words that appear on a phone screen is pretty limited, and it’s just swipe, swipe, swipe. Of course, there are Kindles and e-readers now, and tablets, which make things easier.
Still, I guess I’m just an old-fashioned reader. There’s something about the feel and smell of a book. The paper? The ink? The weight? Or the cute/attractive/interesting bookmark?
Everything on earth has its own time and its own season.
There is a time for birth and death, planting and reaping,
for killing and healing, destroying and building,
for crying and laughing, weeping and dancing,
for throwing stones and gathering stones, embracing and parting.
There is a time for finding and losing, keeping and giving,
for tearing and sewing, listening and speaking.
There is also a time for love and hate, for war and peace.
*As far as I can tell, J. W. Eagan is famous for the quote, and nothing else.