Adventures in reading (2019)

Samantha Weald
The Wealderness
Published in
10 min readJan 6, 2020

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.”
Anna Quindlen, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

I am kind of a weird reader. When people ask me what genre of books I like, the answer doesn’t come easily. Is all of them appropriate?

I read non-fiction, I read poetry, I read best sellers, and self published, and self help, and everything in between. I read what calls to me, what’s offered to me, and what’s decided for me. I read on kindle, on paperback, on hardcover, and audiobook. I read in the car, on the train, on my couch, and on planes.

Reading Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver this summer was everything.

But why? How does one uncover this ferocious love of reading?

I get a lot from my mother — my smile, my optimism… most of my hardcover books.

Often when I read, I am unreachable. I dive into books as if they are movies — I see the whole thing in my head and get completely lost in the story. But when someone wants to interrupt me … (errr, talk to me)…. most of the time, I don’t even hear them. It might take one or two tries to wrest my attention from a story. In those moments it’s like the lights slowly turning on around me to mark that the movie is over and it’s time to get back to real life.

I’ve always thought of it as a funny quirk that I turn the world off around me so completely when I read. Nothing more, nothing less.

“It’s the coping mechanism you taught yourself from childhood,” my husband noticed earlier this year. And suddenly… I knew he was right.

My childhood was a little different… divorced parents (sure) but also the less than normal experience of…