Ok, Terri threw down the gauntlet and RC followed it up with his own spin. I guess I can add my two cents as well. I may not blaze the trail but I can follow a path.
Books. They can open doors to whole new adventures.
I would label myself as an average reader. As a kid, I was more into comics than novels. I really did not start into books until high school. Some of the required reading in middle and high school seemed long & tedious to me. Great Gatsby, Grapes of Wrath, A Tale of Two Cities, Catcher in the Rye. Some of these I connected with, some not. At that time of my life, I was more into escapism. I was an introverted teenager and spend a lot time reading sci-fi and fantasies. It was in high school that I discovered Tolkien. Started with The Hobbit and got hooked onto the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have read those many times and still have the hard back volumes on my book shelf. When I get hooked on a particular author, I tend to read through all their publications.
In college I read a few books, but it really wasn’t until I went joined the Army did I start to read more. There is an old saying in the military – Hours of boredom punctuated by Moments of terror and chaos. We spent a lot of time in the field training for combat operations. The expression “Hurry Up and Wait” was our motto at times. I recall spending days on end in the field on guard duty or training maneuvers or waiting our turn for gunnery practice. This was in the days well before the Internet, cell phones, wireless communications, Nintendo, PSPs, iPods. To pass the time, a lot of guys would either play cards (could be detrimental to your bank account), shoot hoops, or read. We would spend 4-6 weeks at a time in the field and I learned to take a few books along to fill in the down time. I tried to find books long enough to last me a week or so, but eventually, we’d plow through those and be looking for something else. We set up a mini collection of books in the company so as you finished one book, you could trade for another. Most of the guys were not that complex, so the style of books available was a bit on the simpler side. I would up reading a lot of westerns (Zane Grey, Louis L’Amour, Max Brand). I’ll even confess that I’ve read the entire Robert E Howard (Conan The Barbarian) series. When you have that much time on your hands, it doesn’t take more than a day or two to plow through one of those books. At one point, I wound up reading a number of sci-fi series(Anne McCaffrey, Doug Adams).
As I got older, my tastes changed. I started reading more adventures or mysteries or Sci-Fi. I’ve read most of the books by Tom Grisham, Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Sue Grafton. Sometimes it takes me a while to get into a book, but, once I do, I will plow through several chapters at one sitting. Whenever I travel, I will try to find a book that will keep me entertained for the trip. On my recent road trip to Milwaukee, I read through the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and I am on the next one in the series. What made this one interesting to me is that I had also gotten the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo DVD from Netflix. I wound up watching the movie right after I had finished the book to see how it looked in film. Interesting but dark story.
I see some people with the new e-Readers (Nook, Kindle, iPad) but I am not sure I am ready to give up my low tech paperbacks. Easy to carry, simple to use, requires no batteries or external power source, no accessories, low cost, will not interfere with airplane operations, no special TSA screening requirements, and you can use it when the power goes out. As new and intriguing as the e-Readers are (yes, my inner geek wants one), I will probably stick with my old fashioned books (for now).