Image Courtesy ittybittiesforyou via Flickr
This morning, while sitting in my doctor's waiting room by myself I was so bored I ended up reading a Diabetes pamphlet because Bret Michaels was sharing his daily menu. I don't have Diabetes and have little interest in menu plans in general. But there was little else to choose from. It did not appear that the magazine subscriptions had been renewed since there was nothing past April displayed. And if I had to read about Sandra Bullock's sucky love life one more time I was going to walk out.
Thankfully I was joined by another patient-in-waiting. My doctor is in a solo office with a tiny, open waiting room where the receptionist sits at a desk instead of hidden behind a counter. But the receptionist was on vacation so it was just me and this other woman surrounded by expired magazines. We decided to talk. We talked about the expired magazines and this of course led to laments for the books we had not brought with us.
A-ha! Another reader! So I asked her what she was reading and she said she actually was in-between books - thus the reason she didn't have one on her. When I asked what it was she had just finished, she got incredibly shy. She said it was just a kid's book - that she liked the easy ones. If she could have crawled under the desk and hidden without fear of the doctor coming out and finding her I think she would have. She was embarrassed to be a 20-something woman caught reading books for kids.
I should have told her to never be ashamed of what you read. But since our relationship was too new for advice, instead I asked her what exactly it was that she had finished. She told me it was The Lightening Thief. Now, of course I have heard of that book and its series thanks to all of the YA book bloggers out there. When I told her that I knew of it from all of these adult book bloggers in love with YA she perked up a little. Before long she decided to share how exciting it was having all those mythology figures that were boring to her in text books become something she enjoyed learning about through these stories. And that is exactly why you should never apologize for what you read.
Another patient-in-waiting arrived. This was an elderly woman who appeared to be a regular to this office. When I explained the doctor was running quite late she too mentioned how she wished she had her book. When I told her we were just talking about that very thing she wanted to know what we were reading. Again the young woman curled up into herself, reluctantly admitting that it was just this easy kid's book. Well, the older lady went off an a big tangent about how Harry Potter changed her friend's life - that her friend read it with her granddaughter and they would call each other every week to talk about their progress and what they thought - a long distance book club. The younger woman smiled and felt comfortable again.
I left them in the waiting room when my turn with the doctor arrived. The elderly woman was explaining the plot of The Help to the younger woman, encouraging her to read it despite its heft, to meet some of the most incredible women you'll ever want to know in books, promising her a quick but lasting adventure. The younger woman in turn was giving the older woman the name of The Lightening Thief so that she could go right out and buy it for her young grandson, thinking it would be perfect for him.
It doesn't matter what you read or how you read. Just that you do. And that you encourage others to follow in your shoes. You are never too old for YA or too young for important lessons. And - when you are stuck in a waiting room with nothing to read, talk to people instead. It makes the wait a lot more enjoyable.