Have you ever had one of these days, where you can't get a single moment to sink your eyes into that novel? You eye that magazine, wishing you could take a gander?
Then a single day stretches into two, maybe even three. Or more. (Perish the thought!)
What happens when you can't get to a book? What do you do?
Me, I take two steps: (1) I go to the gym and (b) I use the stair climber. If I use the elliptical machine, I am seduced by the television. Yes, every elliptical at my gym has a small built-in television — perfect for viewing "Cash Cab." Anyway, the little shelf in front of the television is insufficient for propping a book. (I've tried.)
So it's to the stair climber I turn on days when I simply must read. I'm on there for nearly an hour, so I can get quite a few pages under my proverbial belt on that torture device — er, machine.
However, there are weeks where even that is impossible. Lately, I've had weeks that involve travel, company, late nights at work and visits with family and friends. These are weeks where the workday lunch hour is otherwise occupied as well. These are weeks where the day lasts until I limp to bed, exhausted, waaaaay past my bedtime, followed by early mornings running (and there is no book built for that treacherous terrain).
Those are the times when the only books read are the books scattered about the house. Those are the fragmented times, the scatter-shot method of reading. I always have a few books in that state. Some books do not survive that kind of reading, and they're designated to the "focused reading" pile.
But this afternoon, it's a hardback on the stair climber. I tried paperbacks, but alas, they're impossible to prop open without monumental amounts of frustration (which cause the machine to get angry, beep and demand a reset — which in turn requires moving the perfectly settled book). Last week, I started Gentlemen of the Road (a quick read, but not one for the machine) and Unaccustomed Earth (good, but intense -- plan to read other books or stories between these stories).
Today I have 20th Century Ghosts, which most likely will give me more nightmares. Don't worry: David has been put on high alert. (There's no telling what will happen in the dark of the night with this imagination.) (Wait, that's not what — oh, never mind.) Maybe when I get home, I will get a in few pages of Julia's Chocolates to calm my nerves.
Wish me luck.