My grandma, a hard working farm wife who had little time for leisure, knew I loved to read and I don't know if it bugged her, or worried her, or what exactly. I would often spend several weeks of my summer there on the farm and it was wonderful change of pace for me. I went from the oldest of a huge family of kids living in the city, to an "only" child, and a farm girl at that. I loved it, and I'm sure I would spend much of my vacation moments reading.
So one time, and I was probably 13 or 14 or so, I remember her saying as we drove past a farm house near where they lived ... "THIS is what will happen if you read too much." Now, I never did see the inside of that house, but the outside was very run down, lots of junk everywhere, neglected yard, etc. I imagine the inside to look a bit worn and weary too, a bit messy shall we say. I remember thinking at the time that she was just bugged that this lady did not take care of things like my grandma would have. But then I thought, wait... is she really blaming this on reading? Really? She must have known that that mom read a lot, but do you think that's why this place was neglected?
I don't know, but I do know that I never forgot what she said to me that day and I've always wondered how I was supposed to interpret it. Was she saying have balance? Was she saying work first and play later? Was she saying reading is bad? Was she saying some things are more important than other things?
Well, luckily, it didn't make me stop reading, but perhaps it did instill in me the little bit of guilt I have for reading "too much." Sometimes I look around and wonder if my grandma would think that my house has gotten to the level of someone who reads "too much." So I hope not. I hope that even with all the reading there is balance. That people and other things are not being neglected. That my grandma wouldn't be getting after me!
All that being said, my grandma would also take me to meet the bookmobile when it came around to their little town. I thought that was the coolest thing ever and would check out all sorts of books, and she didn't seem to mind one bit!
So, I don't know what this has to do with anything really except that I was just thinking about it and wondered if any other readers have had a similar reading warning given to them and how it affected their reading behaviors. Anyone?