Why I read “so much”!

I’ve been asked how I find time to read so much. That leads me to think about what I would be doing if I didn’t “read so much”. I know one thing I should be doing… housework! I’m sort of minimalist in the housework department. I tolerate dust. I imagine other people have schedules – wash the floor once a week or once a month or whatever. I’m more of an “at need” housecleaner. My cooking involves as many shortcuts as I can figure out.

I read because I can’t help it.

I’m reading a bit more than I was two years ago, because I had to (mostly) give up knitting and crochet. I severely damaged my by hands binge gardening. Yes, a gardening overuse injury. Every joint in both hands was involved, leaving me temporarily in very bad shape, unable to do anything requiring hand strength – open a can of Coke, lift a gallon of milk… Gradually, the pain receded and some strength returned. Except for my wrists. There the pain still lingers… I consulted a specialist, who took x-rays and said that my scaphoid bones (one in each hand) are ruined. So I have arthritis, and its probably here to stay. Maybe also tendonitis, which might get better.

So I gave up knitting and crochet, and gardening. Two major hobbies, lost in a single stroke! I could argue that I should give up housework, but I don’t like to play that card. I haven’t even tried to play piano.

An odd consequence of this is that I’m now reluctant to shake hands, and if I must, I tuck my thumb safely against my palm and offer only my fingers. Sometimes I just nod and apologize, referring vaguely to injury. Wouldn’t you think, as a society, that we would have some polite way to signal “I’d love to shake your hand but I can’t”? Sometimes my body language seems to convey the message, and I haven’t been victimized by an overly enthusiastic handshake in the past six months.

In the good news department, I can still use a regular computer keyboard, and it is in fact easier than writing with a pen. So my blogging habit hasn’t suffered, nor has my work.

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One thought on “Why I read “so much”!

  1. How tragic to lose so many joyful parts of life at once! I would read a lot also because it sure beats Tv or movies! Also, how to acknowledge someone without shaking hands? That’s a tough one! Asians bow. I see lots of fist bumps and “high 5’s.” Hugs are only appropriate in some situations. The “I have an injured hand but i would shake hands if i could” routine gets old.” A guy I know with a disfigured hand puts his other hand forward to grasp the person’s hand, but if both hands are bad, that would not work. I think our society needs an appropriate solution to this but it remains to be seen. Any ideas out there?
    R.R. in South Windsor, CT

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