A Book and a Broken Couch

By Beacon Staff

On a rainy Sunday, no matter the length of my to-do list, I feel it is my inarguable duty to curl up on a couch, open a book and hide from the world. This past Sunday I took my duty to extreme measures and read a book from cover to cover, the first time I had done so in quite some time. By the end I felt accomplished and pleasantly, if not strangely, exhausted. Reading will never lose its hold over me – I’m a proud addict.

You see, I have bunny ears. Not on my head, but on my television. They bring me four channels and sometimes, randomly, a fifth. I’m not big into television. I was raised on books and, even though I easily get sucked in when a television is in front of me, I usually stick with what’s gotten me this far. Having chosen a profession in writing, I figure it doesn’t hurt to learn how to write. Reading is essential for that.

So on Sunday I sprawled out, book in hand, on a beat-up couch that was recently delivered to me by college buddies who had to choose between burning the warped piece of furniture or pawning it off on somebody. I believe they made the correct decision, as it now sits on my back covered porch and, while not disrupting the furniture setup inside the house, provides a soft resting place where I can either feel the sun or smell the rain, depending on what the sky offers me.

I was reading The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry, the author of Lonesome Dove. It is an engrossing, easy-reading little novel that examines the often twisted social life of a tiny Texas town in the 1950s. It was made into an award-winning movie with Jeff Bridges, which I haven’t seen. For nearly an entire day, from the comfort of my back porch, I lived in Thalia, Texas, or perhaps inside McMurtry’s mind. Either way you look at it, it was a fine place to be.

Despite my reading affliction, which I have carried for all of my literate life, I still am not a fast reader, making Sunday’s achievement that much more of a milestone. I’m methodical and obsessive, dwelling on grammatical errors and typos, flipping back through previous pages to make sure I fully understand the subtle intricacies of characters and taking breaks to absorb it all.

Books are books and I don’t generally discriminate between fiction or non-fiction. It really depends on my mood. But after years of working through dense and often painfully dry historical texts, some in Spanish, I tend to lean toward fiction at this point of my post-college life. Not to mention, it’s a nice break from the constant stream of news flooding my brain. So for me, and I’m sure for many others, a rainy Sunday need not be depressing. In fact, it can open up whole new worlds.

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