3/5/10: Paihia, New Zealand
Kevin books read for fun all through high school: 0.
Kevin books read for fun today: 1.
Yes, I finished an entire book today. No, it wasn’t Dylan’s Day Out or The Bernstein Bears or even Where’s Waldo?. It was actually James Patterson’s 147th international bestseller, Four Blind Mice (surprisingly, it was just ok and I probably wouldn’t recommend it). I know what you’re thinking: “That book is almost 400 pages and you read more slowly than Karl Malone shoots free throws! You’re a dirty rotten liar.”
You’d be wrong. I’m a reader now, and you need to get that through your thick skull. Here’s how it happened:
Zhou and I woke up late today because we’re near a beach and that’s what you do in beach towns. The plan was to go kayaking after lunch, so after a quick breakfast I dove into the Patterson thriller. By lunchtime I had read almost 70 pages, nearly equaling a record for me in one day. At that point I began bragging to Zhou about how I could read faster than she could. Then I realized she had already finished the first 200 pages of the book she just started. I switched gears to the tortoise and the hare example, saying how silly it was for her to read so quickly when I’d get her in the end.
After lunch we kayaked out to a small uninhabited island not too far from shore. We had the beach all to ourselves, so we did what anyone would do: we picked our books back up and read.
After a couple hours with our noses dug into our books, Zhou had finished her book which was clearly meant for a first grade audience, while I had gotten to page 190 of my difficult adult book. (Ha! Zhou just reconfirmed what I wrote by saying her book won the Pulitzer. Isn’t that the medal they give to the children’s book with the best illustrations each year?) We kayaked back to Paihia and Zhou immediately took a nap, giving me more time to read and catch up to her.
By dinner time I was up to page 290 and at this point I realized that nothing was stopping me from finishing the book in one day. After all, it has been a lifelong dream of mine to waste a whole day with nothing to show for it. It’s not easy being as productive as I have been every day for over 25 years now.
After dinner (and a quick walk to get Zhou some ice cream), Zhou did end up finding the only thing that could possibly come between me and my dreams: TV. More specifically, American Idol. We spent the next two hours watching 12 girls we didn’t know sing very mediocrely. As I look back on it, there were only two good performances: one by the girl who looks just like Brooke White and sings a bit like Megan Joy Corkrey, and one by the Ohioan girl (O! H!) who plays the harmonica and guitar. We actually did enjoy Ellen though. It would be nice is she was a little harder on the contestants, but I liked how she didn’t pretend to be a world-class singer and just said things like “as a person who loves music, I thought you were really good.”
Back to the books though. It was now 10:30pm, but I wasn’t about to let one two-hour setback get the best of me. I immediately grabbed my book and kept reading. I was so engrossed in the book (well, technically I was engrossed in the idea of finishing the book) that I lost track of the time and plowed through page after page at a rate of at least one page every minute or two. (Even in pressure-packed situations like this one, my mind still continuously wandered to other things, like if bugs always fly toward lights, do they ever try to travel to the sun during the day?)
I just realized that I gave away the ending of this post at the beginning, so by now you know that I did end up finishing Alex Cross’s last pre-FBI case before going to bed. It was a great day, one that I’ll remember for at least another day or two. Unless of course tomorrow I read two books. And who knows? It may just happen. I’m a reader now.
[To see all of the books that Zhou and I have read, check out our new “Reviews” tab. You won’t regret it!]
Picture of the Day: On the way to get Zhou’s ice cream, we stopped by the docks so I could pump some gas.