Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Reading (01/25/07)
TITLE: I Get Around
By Eleanor Joyce
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Last night, for several minutes, I enjoyed the cadence of thumping hooves, and savored deep breaths of moist, earth-smelling air as a young woman rode her horse across the fields towards home. The vision of a fiery sun, slowly sinking behind a rustic barn, was a beautiful end to my day.
Just a few weeks ago I walked the rainy streets of Oxford, England with Jack Lewis. For many evenings the barriers of distance and time were swept away by a well written book!
What is it about reading that is so captivating? Reading draws me in, immersing me in the setting and including me in the action. What sets reading apart from, say, watching a travel documentary? I enjoy the movie, but remain an observer rather than a participant. Perhaps it has something to do with sensory integration. Maybe as my eyes track from left to right, top to bottom, some finely tuned but little understood process is set into motion. I don’t know, and I’ll leave the hypothesizing to the experts!
Suffice it to say that reading has been my travel method of choice for several decades. Real life adventures in faraway places have been thwarted by a finite budget, and of course, by the sheer impossibility of traveling through time. Reading is restricted by no such boundaries!
Over the years, I’ve had some excellent travel agents. My current favorite is the aging and somewhat eccentric owner of a nearby used book store. The “store” is in fact a shabby but still stately tall brick house. Inside it is lined with shelves, most stacked two layers deep and two layers high with books of every description. It’s also home to several rescued cats. More than once I’ve had to swoosh a reluctant feline out of the bathroom sink to wash my hands, or slide one off a stack of books that I wanted to look through. Armed with a pocketful of tissues and fortified by an allergy pill, I visit this agent as often as I can. Of course, online agents are always convenient, and fun to visit too!
In real life, piloting a used minivan to the grocery store is about as exotic as my travel gets. But when I don my bifocals and pick up something to read there’s no stopping me! That’s when I get around!
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