I think I read the entire children’s section at the Greene County Library. I would scour the shelves of both the picture book and the chapter book areas to find something new. I would bring my big maroon bag with the Iron-On Noah’s Ark appliqué that my Aunt Sara gave me and shove it so full that the corners of books made poor Noah quickly peel away. “Homeschoolers,” the librarians might have sighed whenever they saw my family coming in at 9am, but I never understood why so many librarians were glum. They got to continually browse books while they scanned them. “What a job,” I thought. I still think, actually.
So it started young with me. I was reading three or four Boxcar Children books a day around seven. My hunger only became greater as I grew older and I took it very seriously. Nevertheless, at that point, I would not call my condition “Over-Reading" because I put out a fair amount of original writing. I still possess some classic poems from that period. One noteworthy ballad tells of a romance between two English Shepherd owners who fall in love, get married, and die. And of course, the dogs loyally guard the graves-- quite tear-jerking and original.
Homeschooling provided ample time for my voluminous book consumption and subsequent day-dreaming based on whatever I read. I would go out to our swing on the big walnut tree overlooking the pond and dream and dream (and then hide whenever a car came down the lane--I don’t know why). The book came in and then it went out, as it should be—just like proper digestion.
But, as you might have guessed, I have a confession to make. In the past years, I have become a book glutton. Indeed, I have a severe case of literary obesity. I take in and take in and take in, but it never goes anywhere. I have been stuck in excuses and self-justification, but I am done. I don’t care whether or not I am the best writer or whether my writing shames my literary heroes (well, I do care, really), or whether I really am wasting cyberspace. Words have filled me up beyond my needed vocabularic limit and are now pushing out. I have engorged myself on sweet prose. I need to exercise, Jillian Michael’s style. In other words, I desperately need to write.
So, here I am. I am going to write about books. I am going to write down the thoughts which are propelled by those books. I am going to get creatively "shredded."